Sonny Bill Williams excited for rugby league return

James Gordon

Sonny Bill Williams was the star attraction at the Super League media launch on Friday.

Williams, 35, is the biggest signing of the off-season and joins Toronto Wolfpack ahead of their maiden campaign.

He sat on stage with Brian Carney alongside Catalans’ new recruit James Maloney, who Williams won an NRL Premiership with in 2013 playing for Sydney Roosters.

The pair joked about Williams’ big-money return to league, as well as taking part in a game where they guessed who had written tweets that were being read out by Carney.

All in all, Williams seemed relaxed and happy, despite the undoubted pressure of the huge attention placed upon on him by the media and organisers alike.

He told Sky Sports: “Really enjoying it. A bit different to what I’m accustomed to. With hardship comes ease, and if you’re mindset’s right, you pull the positives out of the situation.

“Main thing is I’m enjoying the environment every day at training, a great bunch of lads and a great coach.

“Transition is good as it can be. There’s been some bumps. Just excited to get back on that pitch. Being realistic, I know that after five years I’m going to be pretty rusty, but I’ve done it before.”

Williams is expected to make his debut next Sunday at Headingley when the Wolfpack take on Castleford, who they beat in their only pre-season game last Sunday.

The two-time All Blacks World Cup winner is expected to miss at least one game in February, as he returns to New Zealand for the birth of his fourth child.

It looks like Wigan may be spared having to face up to him for now, which may be of some solace to the Warriors’ new recruit George Burgess, who counts Sonny Bill as his toughest ever opponent.