There was no fairy tale start to Sonny Bill Williams' return to rugby league as the Toronto Wolfpack lost in their Super League debut to the Castleford Tigers 28-10.

In what was technically a home game played in Headingley, Toronto rushed off the blocks thanks to a Liam Kay try just three minutes into the game.

But the Wolfpack were quickly down 10-4 by the time Williams was introduced off the bench after 26 minutes.

Williams, who ended his six-year absence in the sport, didn't get off to the greatest start, knocking on in his first touch and fumbling again shortly after for the Canadian side.


There were glimpses of the SBW of old, namely a classy one-handed offload to Kay, but the Wolfpack's defence couldn't hold off the increasingly dominant Castleford as they piled on the points.

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The 34-year-old former All Black was disappointed with the result but was personally happy to be back playing in the 13-man code.

"It was disappointing from a team point of view but from a personal it was great to get back out there," he told the BBC.

"It's an awesome atmosphere and for myself, the coach only wanted me to play 20-30 minutes maximum so I felt like I was getting a feel of it when I was out there.

"For me, I tried to do the little things well. There was nothing magical, but the foundations have been laid and we can work on that in a long season.

"The magic will come. If I'm doing the little things well, working back, passing and good on the kick-chase that is the foundations."

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Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott avoided commenting specifically on Williams' performance, saying that his star signing would need some time to transition back into the sport.


"I'm not really interested in summarising his performance," McDermott told the BBC.

"This is going to take some time and transition. He got through some tackles and carries.

"He got the biggest cheer of the day when he dropped the ball and got valuable game time."

Williams and the Wolfpack take on Salford in their next match on Sunday (NZ time).