SBW signing can make England 'fall in love' with rugby league

Sonny Bill Williams' imminent move to Canadian-based English Super League club Toronto Wolfpack could be the weapon rugby league uses to win fans away from rugby union in the UK, says Great Britain assistant coach Ian Watson.

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The pair start in midfield for the All Blacks against Wales on Friday. Source: 1 NEWS

With Williams, 34, reportedly close to moving to Toronto after his New Zealand Rugby deal expired following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, tongues are wagging on both sides of the Atlantic over the star power the dual international will bring.

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The All Blacks star is reportedly close to signing for Canada's Toronto Wolfpack, and the Kiwis coach would consider him for the national team. Source: 1 NEWS

As both rugby codes fight for relevance in England, their popularity coming nowhere near that of football, Watson says that he's hopeful Williams' reported arrival in the Super League will be a huge boost for rugby league.

"Obviously Super League is looking to try and expand and I think bringing somebody in like Sonny Bill Williams who is a global star to be fair would be huge," Watson told Stuff.

"Rugby league supporters know him, rugby union supporters know him.

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The All Blacks star is said to be close to a move to Toronto Wolfpack. Source: 1 NEWS

"In England that's a big thing for us as well because it will attract some of those rugby union supporters to come and just watch him basically and hopefully they will fall in love with the rugby league game when they are there and then hopefully they will stay and support rugby league in the future.

"I think it could be a really a good tool for the whole Super League competition."

Williams isn't the only high profile target on the Wolfpack's radar though, with the likes of Manu Tuilagi and Valentine Holmes also reportedly interesting the Canadian side.