Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is reportedly in the sights of the Wolfpack. Picture: New York Jets
Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is reportedly in the sights of the Wolfpack. Picture: New York Jets

Wolfpack have SBW; now they want Holmes

Not content with Sonny Bill Williams, Toronto Wolfpack are set to lure more cross code stars to the newly promoted UK Super League outfit with NFL hopeful Valentine Holmes also reportedly in their sights.

England rugby internationals Manu Tuilagi and Ben Te'o are believed to be next on the Wolfpack's bold hit-list following reports they will confirm signing All Black Williams on a two-year deal worth a staggering $10 million.

And the shopping spree doesn't look like ending there, with reports NRL players have begun cold calling the club about a deal, with ex-Kangaroos flyer Holmes also linked to a move from the NFL.

 

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Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is reportedly in the sights of the Wolfpack. Picture: New York Jets
Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is reportedly in the sights of the Wolfpack. Picture: New York Jets

Tuilagi appears to be Toronto's top priority after it emerged coach Brian McDermott travelled to the Rugby World Cup in Japan to watch the 28-year-old Leicester centre play before reportedly nailing down a deal with Williams which includes a minority stake in the Canadian club.

Tuilagi looms as a tough get after the Samoa-born juggernaut turned down a cashed up offer from French Top 14 club Racing 92 this year and signed an extension with Leicester until June 2021.

But it seems Toronto know how to get their man, with speculation rife they are about to confirm Williams' stunning deal.

Besides Tuilagi - who won his 40th England cap in the World Cup final loss to South Africa - Toronto have been linked to ex-Queensland State of Origin player Te'o.

 

 

The Toronto Wolfpack have signed Sonny Bill Williams for $10m over two seasons. Picture: AP
The Toronto Wolfpack have signed Sonny Bill Williams for $10m over two seasons. Picture: AP

It is believed the Toulon rugby centre, who has earned 18 England caps since switching from the NRL, has already begun talks with Toronto.

Holmes has also been mentioned as a target by UK reports despite being linked to a 2020 NRL deal with North Queensland following an NFL stint with New York Jets.

Holmes is with the Jets practice squad through the NFL International Player Pathway Program but it's said he will walk away from his US dream after failing to force his way into their active roster.

 

 

Former Broncos star Ben Te’o has reportedly started talks with the Wolfpack. Picture: Getty Images
Former Broncos star Ben Te’o has reportedly started talks with the Wolfpack. Picture: Getty Images

He has reportedly agreed in principle to a multi-year deal with the Cowboys worth around $1 million a season but that hasn't stopped Wolfpack speculation.

"Holmes has been linked with the NRL in his native country but with the sums being talked of in tying down Sonny Bill, the Wolfpack would be in the ballpark to compete with the Australian clubs' spending power," BBC Sport said of Toronto's interest in Holmes.

Then there is the reported NRL interest.

"A lot of NRL players are now cold-calling Brian Noble, Toronto's director of rugby, about joining the club," UK Telegraph Sport said.

Meanwhile NZ Rugby chairman Brent Impey is holding onto hope Williams will not be lost to the code ahead of Toronto's confirmation of the cross code star's signing.

"We hold him in very high regard and when his playing career finishes, I'm not sure in what role, but I believe he has things to offer us here at New Zealand Rugby, absolutely," he said.