By Ian Cameron for RugbyPass
Sonny Bill Williams' paycheck at the Toronto Wolfpack will be the value of an entire Super League salary cap thanks to a dispensation allowed within their league's salary cap regulations.
Williams has signed a two-year deal worth around £2.6 million per year with Toronto, a move that would see him stay in the game until the 2021 RL World Cup.
With the Super League salary cap set at £2 million, his bumper wage bill is worth more than an entire team's allowance. The 34-year-old star's reported pay packet is in fact 40 times that of the average Super League player (£65,000).
The former All Black will almost certainly come under the 'Marquee Player' rule, which states: "Each Super League and Championship Club is permitted to have two Marquee Players whose Salary Cap Value is limited to £150,000 (or £75,000 if Club Trained)."
Because of the size of his salary he won't come under the 'Returning Talent Pool Dispensation', which states: "Any Player who has not previously played Rugby League in the 5 years prior to signing is given a value of 50% of his true value in the first year of his contract and 75% of his true value in the second year."
However, this clause will likely be used should the Wolfpack come after the likes of Ben Te'o, the former NRL star who recently left Worcester Warriors to return to Australia.
If Toronto decide – as has been widely reported – to come after more rugby union stars, they will likely use the 'New Talent Pool Dispensation' clause. This states: "Any Player who has not previously played Rugby League is given a value of £0 in the first year of his contract and at 50% of his true value in the second year."
This would allow the Wolfpack to target the likes of Manu Tuilagi, who they are reported to have shown an interest in. Tuilagi signed a contract extension with Tigers just last year and would have to be bought out of it by the newly rich Canadian outfit.