Coronavirus: Sonny Bill Williams calms fans, as Toronto Wolfpack are stood down

Sonny Bill Williams has reassured fans that he and his family are OK, as the coronavirus pandemic hits his England-based Toronto Wolfpack rugby league outfit.

On Monday (NZ time), Wolfpack staff and players were stood down, after four players showed coronavirus symptoms at their adopted home in Manchester.  

The former All Blacks and NRL star is currently playing his debut season for the Canadian club, after signing a two-year deal reportedly worth $10m. 

Last month, he returned to New Zealand for the birth of his fourth child and over the weekend, wife Alana and family arrived in England to be with the cross-code star.

Williams has posted on Instagram, declaring he and his loved ones are well.

"Been inundated with questions about health," he says. "Alhamdullilah, we are fine and well atm.

"Hold your close ones tight, my friends."

Williams is currently sidelined by a knee injury that will require minor surgery, after missing the Wolfpack's 18-0 victory over Huddersfield last week.

"Sonny Bill Williams is scheduled to undergo an operation on his knee," the club
tweeted on Tuesday. "He is expected to recover in three weeks."

He is unlikely to miss any more games, now that the Rugby Football League and Super Legue clubs have decided to join the global sports shutdown, suspending the competition, at least until April 3.

"These are unprecedented times, and they present significant financial and commercial implications for rugby league, which will be further considered during the period of suspension," said a joint Super League/RFL statement.

"Super League is also an international competition, and consideration has to be given to our clubs in Canada and France, particularly around travel restrictions and scheduling fixtures.

"Player welfare and maintaining the integrity of the competition are key concerns moving forward. Equally, our responsibilities to rugby league communities remain front of mind for all of us.

"The whole country is facing major challenges - and the support of our fans, partners and stakeholders is needed now more than ever before."