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'It's just the challenge' - Former All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams confirms NRL return

Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams appears to have confirmed his return to the NRL with the Roosters.

Williams told Nine News this morning “the challenge” of the NRL was too good to turn down.

“Everyone knows it’s no secret that I’m pretty close with the lads at the Roosters – [owner] Nick [Politis] and [coach] Trent [Robinson] – I stay in contact with them now and then,” Williams told Nine.

Williams’ whirlwind return to the NRL was sparked last week after the 34-year-old’s club, the Toronto Wolfpack, shut down their campaign in the Super League due to the financial strains of Covid-19.

As a result, the Wolfpack allowed their international players such as Williams to seek contracts elsewhere to continue playing and be match-fit for next season.

Williams’ name was the largest on offer and while the Warriors and Bulldogs were rumoured to be chasing his signature, a return to the Roosters was too good to turn down.

“Trent just gave me a call and inquired about what was happening [in the UK] and Nick hit me up and asked if I had a couple of months in me to come back and, to be honest, I hadn’t trained for a bit.

“I’d been in holiday mode, me and my wife had booked flights for a little European holiday but it’s just the challenge, it gets me excited and lights that fire inside of me.”

Williams tweeted on Friday he and his family were “travelling home” after the Wolfpack’s season ended, adding he was “excited for quarantine”.

The NRL has not made an official confirmation of Williams arrival but the organisation said they are willing to bend their contract rules - which states a player cannot have a deal with another club while playing in the NRL - to allow the former All Black and others to return.

If Williams’ move to the Roosters is finalised, he will have to undergo a two-week isolation before he can begin training with the Sydney club.

Williams played two seasons for the Roosters back in 2013 and 2014 and helped guide the club to an NRL title in his first season back.