Toronto Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott has revealed the newly-promoted Super League club have held talks about signing cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams.
The Canadian outfit reached the top flight in only the third year of their existence, and will now seek to assemble a squad capable of making its mark against the established powerhouses such as St Helens, Wigan, Leeds and Warrington.
McDermott, the most successful coach in Super League history after winning four grand finals during his time in charge of Leeds, will look to significantly strengthen their squad ahead of the 2020 campaign. He said: "I think we need four new signings, maybe more than that.
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"We need a dummy half, a front-rower, an outside back and a back rower.
"The marquee player rule will be used by Toronto as part of that recruitment process.
"What David Beckham did when he moved to Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy raised the profile of the competition."
Williams enjoys legendary status in league and union and, at the age of 34, could be persuaded to return to the 13-man code, according to McDermott.
The New Zealander is currently representing the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and McDermott added: "Sonny Bill Williams has shown interest but that's all it is because he didn't know what league we would be playing in.
"His people have had conversations with our people and the answer wasn't no - he hasn't just shut it off.
"I'm not saying he's coming or is going to come, but the fact of the matter is he has responded and the answer wasn't no.
"There are further conversations to be had now we are in Super League and he knows what league we are playing in.
"We haven't spoken to him since [being promoted], but if we had someone like him it would raise the profile of rugby league in Canada and Toronto Wolfpack.
"That would be great for us, but I would quickly add that he would have to be good as well.
"I don't just mean world-class headline-grabbing, but someone who is willing to make those tackles from marker, do the ugly stuff, have his nose bent and do the warrior-like performances week in and week out that some of these superstar players have in their game already. I'm going to make sure that he's tough enough as well."