Sonny Bill Williams could make a shock return to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 11 years after he left the club for French rugby union, Australian media has reported.
Williams has reportedly begun informal talks with the Bulldogs about returning to the NRL club he sensationally walked out on in 2008.
Wide World of Sports has reported the Bulldogs are considering an audacious bid to sign the All Blacks player for season 2020, by which time he will be 34.
The 33-year-old was due to present jerseys to the Bulldogs squad ahead of last Saturday's loss to the Warriors, but was prevented from doing so due to the Christchurch terror attacks. This week, the proud Muslim profoundly affected by the acts of terrorism, will take a week off Blues training to travel to Christchurch in order to fundraise for, and offer his support to, his grieving community.
The Bulldogs are desperate for a quick fix after performing poorly last season and then starting this year with a massive defeat at the hands of the Warriors.
The WWOS report said Williams is tempted by the prospect of returning 'home' and helping his struggling club and 'informal' talks have already begun.
Williams debuted for the Bulldogs in 2004 as a 19-year-old, coming off the interchange in the side's grand final victory that year.
He played 73 games for the Bulldogs prior to his infamous exit from the club when he flew to France to take up a rugby contract without informing Canterbury officials.
Williams revealed last year he has a handshake agreement with Roosters chief Nick Politis - who SBW described as "family" - that he would play for Sydney if he ever decided to have one more stint in the NRL.
But it's possible the Roosters won't have the space or requirement for Williams given representative back-rowers Boyd Cordner and Angus Crichton are on their books.
Interviewed on the Sunday Night with Matty Johns show last year about his future sporting plans, Williams remained coy.
"I'm 34 next year, I'm just happy doing what I love doing,'' he said.
''I'm really concentrating on things off the field. I really want to affect my people, the Pasifika people and with that comes responsibility.
''I need more knowledge in that field which I'm doing, I'm studying, I'm doing my coaching degree, so I don't know.
"... A: I've got to keep the wife happy, but B: if I do play on, it will have to be in a place where I can still have a voice."
There is also the possibility that Williams may return to league, but not in the NRL.
The Toronto Wolfpack have tabled a $5 million deal to sign Williams, in a move which would see him line up alongside fellow NRL old boys Ricky Leutele, Darcy Lussick and Ashton Sims.
Williams, an inspirational captain for the Blues recently in their first win of the season, is not available to play the Highlanders at Eden Park on Friday.
Instead, the proud Muslim, profoundly affected by the acts of terrorism in Christchurch last Friday, will travel to the city in order to fundraise for, and offer his support to, his grieving community.
Williams recently posted a video on social media during which he was in tears and his decision to travel south rather than continue training in Auckland will receive the full support of his franchise, who cancelled a planned media session today due to the atrocities committed in Christchurch.
His absence will count as one of his All Black stand-down weeks. All top All Blacks are required to have two weeks off – not counting their team's two byes – in order to try to preserve their mental and physical wellbeing in this World Cup year.