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Toulon, Bulldogs ready to talk over Williams

Toulon, Bulldogs ready to talk over Williams

New Zealand rugby league international Sonny Bill Williams was withdrawn from a preseason match for French rugby union club Toulon on Thursday, paving the way for a financial settlement with his former Australian team the Canterbury Bulldogs
Williams walked out on a five year contract with National Rugby League club the Bulldogs earlier this month to join Toulon, a rising French club coached by former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga.
Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said Friday that Toulon had indicated it was prepared to discuss a deal which would effectively buy Williams out of his league contract and smooth his troubled switch to union.
The player risked jail time if he played in Toulon's warm up match against Toulouse after the NRL and the Bulldogs took out a court injunction last week to prevent him playing for the French club. Williams had already taken part in one preseason match before he was served with the papers.
Toulon club president Mourad Boudjellal said the decision not to play Williams on Thursday was made so as to not "inflame the situation", adding: "A financial settlement is going to be found at the beginning of next week."
Greenberg said in an interview with Australia's radio 2KY that his club would be prepared to discuss Williams' future.
"(Toulon's) message this morning has come out loud and clear, they want to talk, and I've said a number of times the door is open, the phone is on, let's have a discussion," Greenberg said.
Williams had intended to line up in the centers for Toulon at their home ground on the Cote d'Azur on Thursday, but was instead forced to watch his side lose 19-12 from the stands.


Updated : 2021-10-18 21:51 GMT+08:00