A training session with Sonny Bill Williams proved to be a humbling experience for the sports star, when he walked off the field minus his shoes and socks.

The 29-year-old is in Samoa to help promote the NRL's new Pacific Strategy - an initiative to help expand interest in rugby league in the Pacific Islands. On Monday night he trained with members of the Toa Samoa rugby league residents squad. A member of the team, Toe Evile, approached Williams afterwards to ask him a favour.

"I told him I was a massive fan of his and said I wanted a souvenir from him," Mr Evile, 25, told the Samoa Observer. "He asked me if I wanted his shoes - I couldn't believe it. I was over the moon, my heart was pumping and I felt like jumping up and down."

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Since Williams was in such a giving mood, Mr Evile thought he'd do one better and ask for the pair of socks the star was wearing too - prompting Williams to leave the field in barefeet. "He agreed," Mr Evile said, laughing. "I feel like the luckiest rugby league player in Samoa."

Williams later took to Twitter to talk of the experience. "Went and trained with the Toa Samoa team tonight.. Left with no shoes. Only in Samoa. #Cheehoo," he wrote.

Mr Evile said he would not be wearing the shoes.

"It's a souvenir ... to challenge myself," he told the Samoa Observer. "If Sonny can do it, why not me?"