Leeds ready to follow Toronto’s SBW move, with George Ford on their list


SUPER League clubs are lining up to raid rugby union after Toronto’s swoop for Sonny Bill Williams.

And Leeds are at the front of the queue – with George Ford top of their list.

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Leeds are ready to follow Toronto’s lead, with George Ford on their shopping list[/caption]

Williams’ return to rugby league on the richest deal in the history of either code is set to bring tens of thousands of pounds into the 13-a-side game.

Now SunSport has learned the Rhinos are ready to follow suit, with England RU ace Ford in their sights.

Any move would see a family reunion as brother Joe is player-coach of sister RU club Yorkshire Carnegie.

And the Oldham-raised ace has admitted he would like a crack at the game he played as a kid at amateur side Saddleworth Rangers.

The Leicester star said: “I’d always love to. I’ve always missed the game and I love watching it still.

England no 8 Billy Vunipola, left, and flanker Sam Underhill tackle All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams has returned to rugby league with Toronto Wolfpack

“I’d love to have a crack at rugby league. My involvements would be a lot more and that’s all you want. You want ball in your hand so I’d love to give it a go.”

Toronto confirmed Williams’ two-year deal, worth in the region of £5.5 million, on Thursday.

He will be unveiled this Thursday at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and it is believed he will be given the freedom of the city of Toronto.

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire has already opened the door to a potential Kiwis return for the 34-year-old.

George Ford and Jess Portman
George Ford, seen here with girlfriend Jess, played rugby league as a kid growing up in Oldham

He said: “I’m always open and along with New Zealand Rugby League, we’re always open to where it may go.

“Competition in and around the jersey is something that we need and if he’s creating that competition within to help us get to the place we want to get to you always look at those things.

“We’ll let it play its path and see where it’s going but if it’s going to be a great thing for the jersey and everyone is heading in the right direction and the same direction, there’s no reason why people can’t have a look at it.”

But SunSport has been told Samoa, where Williams’ father hails from, are also looking to get him on board.


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