15 Nov 2012

SBW still looking after no.1

1:16 pm on 15 November 2012

Sonny Bill Williams' return to the NRL couldn't have been any more different from his cloak and dagger exit more than four years ago.

On a chilly Saturday in July 2008, Williams turned his back on rugby league when he boarded a flight to London to sign a deal with French rugby club Toulon.

His walkout - just one year into a five-year contract with Canterbury - was widely condemned by his former teammates, supporters and senior figures in the game.

But in front of a packed media conference yesterday afternoon, the Sydney Roosters boss Ted Helliar described Williams' return as "a great day for rugby league."

Ironically, Williams' agreement to a one-year deal, comes just two weeks after his original Bulldogs contract would have expired.

Still with his arm in a sling after surgery last month, Williams will link up with his new teammates in February, less than a month before the NRL season starts.