MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Canadian rugby league team of New Zealand star Sonny Bill Williams might not be able to complete its first season in the English Super League because of complications arising from the coronavirus outbreak.
British newspaper The Mirror reported Wednesday that Toronto Wolfpack’s seven overseas players — including Williams — have been on visas limiting them to six months a year in Britain, which has now expired because of the pandemic.
The club’s owner, David Argyle, was quoted as saying in the newspaper: “We’ve come to a crunch point now where it needs to be resolved.”
The Super League is scheduled to restart on Aug. 2 after being shut down since March, and said Wednesday it was “obviously concerned” by news it received from Toronto at a meeting of clubs this week. It added that the “timing is also unhelpful.”
“We are looking into the details,” the league said, “and have offered the club, and the Rugby Football League, our full support to resolve these issues.”
Argyle said he was not interested in an arrangement that could see Wolfpack loaned youngsters from other clubs.
Toronto Wolfpack was established in 2017, beginning in English rugby league’s third tier. The team has won two promotions in three years.
Williams, the former All Black, is in his first season with the team, which lost its first six matches in Super League before the suspension.
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