Sport: All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams plotted his switch to rugby league and £2.6m move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after New Zealand's Rugby World Cup semi-final thrashing by England - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Sport All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams plotted his switch to rugby league and £2.6m move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after New Zealand's Rugby World Cup semi-final thrashing by England

16:25  14 november  2019
16:25  14 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Emotional Steve Hansen struggles to hold back the tears in his final interview as All Blacks coach, as he bemoans 'one bad day' against England which cost New Zealand a shot at glory in the Rugby World Cup final

  Emotional Steve Hansen struggles to hold back the tears in his final interview as All Blacks coach, as he bemoans 'one bad day' against England which cost New Zealand a shot at glory in the Rugby World Cup final Steve Hansen waved an emotional goodbye to New Zealand rugby as he signed off as All Blacks coach with victory over Wales in the bronze medal match on Friday. The World Cup winning coach struggled to hold back the tears as he bid farewell after the 40-17 victory in Tokyo.But he bemoaned the 'one bad day' the back-to-back champions suffered in the semi-final against England last weekend.

All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams plotted his switch to rugby league and £ 2 . 6 m move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after New Zealand ' s Rugby World Cup semi - final thrashing by England . Sonny Bill Williams signed the richest deal in rugby history on Thursday. The 34-year-old

All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams plotted his switch to rugby league and £ 2 . 6 m move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after New Zealand ' s His side ran out 3-0 winners against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League . As a gesture of thanks, all 114 will spend the return match in club

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Sonny Bill Williams has revealed that he began plotting his record move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after the All Blacks' defeat by England at the Rugby World Cup.

The cross-code star signed the richest deal in rugby history to join the new Super League outfit and begin a third stint in the 13-man game.

The wheels began turning on the £2.6million-a-year move during the recent showpiece in Japan, with Williams' manager holding talks with Wolfpack officials.

a man smiling for the camera: Sonny Bill Williams began plotting his move back to rugby league after defeat by England © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sonny Bill Williams began plotting his move back to rugby league after defeat by England

The two-time World Cup winner insists that he was only 'filled in' on the possible transfer as the dust settled on the All Blacks' first World Cup defeat for 12 years. Conversations then began before they faced Wales in the third-place playoff.' 

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'My manager was speaking to these guys around the (World Cup), I said I didn't want to hear anything about it as I wouldn't have been doing myself, New Zealand and the All Black jersey any justice,' he said at his unveiling in London on Thursday.

Sonny Bill Williams, Sonny Bill Williams, Brian McDermott, Sonny Bill Williams posing for the camera: The cross-code star signed the richest deal in rugby history to join Toronto Wolfpack © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The cross-code star signed the richest deal in rugby history to join Toronto Wolfpack

'I was trying to be the best All Black I could be every single day, (but) as soon as we lost to England… the next day I caught up with my manager and he filled me in… that's when we started having conversations.

The 34-year-old then met Wolfpack coach Brian McDermott in Japan when, during a two-hour conversation, they 'verbally machine gunned each other' about whether he would be moving to North America for the right reasons.

Sonny Bill close to joining Toronto

  Sonny Bill close to joining Toronto New Zealand cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams is close to sealing a return to rugby league with Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.Williams is set to a sign a multi-million pound two-year deal with the Canadian side, which will make him the highest-paid player in the history of either code.

All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams plotted his switch to rugby league and £ 2 . 6 m move to Toronto Wolfpack the day after New Zealand ' s Rugby World Cup semi - final England clinch 3-2 T20 Series win over New Zealand thanks to super-over finale Four months after World Cup final win.

The national rugby union teams of England and New Zealand have been playing each other in Test match rugby since 1905, and have contested a total of 42 Test matches since.

Sonny Bill Williams wearing a black shirt: He says he was only 'filled in' on the potential move following the All Black's shock exit in Japan © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited He says he was only 'filled in' on the potential move following the All Black's shock exit in Japan

It was later that week that Williams informed outgoing All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that he may return to league.

McDermott conceded they are signing a 'brand' as well as a 'world class player', with Toronto chief Bob Hunter hopeful he can have the same impact as LeBron James and David Beckham.

Williams insisted, 'I don't believe you can compare me to these individuals' but the 34-year-old is hopeful of kickstarting a rugby league revolution in Canada. 

Sonny Bill Williams holding a football ball on a field: Williams sit on the pitch with his daughter after beating Wales in the Bronze Medal match © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Williams sit on the pitch with his daughter after beating Wales in the Bronze Medal match

He revealed he had planned to stay in union for another year before embarking on this 'whirlwind' adventure to Toronto, where the Wolfpack will have to compete for attention with their counterparts in ice hockey, football and basketball.

Sonny Bill Williams joins Toronto Wolfpack in record breaking deal

  Sonny Bill Williams joins Toronto Wolfpack in record breaking deal Toronto Wolfpack have signed cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams in a multimillion pound deal that will see him become the most expensive player in rugby union and rugby league history. The New Zealand superstar will return to rugby league as Toronto’s marquee signing after finishing third with the All Blacks in this year’s World Cup. Williams’ record breaking move to the Super League newcomers is worth an estimated $10million (£5million) over the two years he has agreed to sign for; a staggering amount that is far more than most other Super League sides would spend on an entire squad.

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The New Zealand men' s national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks , have played 53 matches so far in the nine Rugby World Cup tournaments from 1987 to 2019

During an incredible career, Williams has yo-yoed between union and league, winning two World Cups with the All Blacks as well as two NRL titles Down Under. 

The 34-year-old has also won seven professional boxing fights, picking up the New Zealand heavyweight title along the way. A clause in his contract means a door to the ring remains ajar. But on Wednesday he met his new Toronto team-mates in Manchester ahead of the start of the latest chapter.

Related: The biggest points deductions in sporting history [Grid]

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