SONNY Bill Williams has revealed how close he came to joining Warrington Wolves earlier in his career.

The dual-code superstar, who has released a new tell-all autobiography called "You Can't Stop The Sun From Shining", sought a move to Super League back in 2008 after walking out on NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Wire were thought to be keen to bring Williams to The Halliwell Jones Stadium but backed away when faced with potential legal action, with the New Zealander switching codes to join French rugby union side Toulon.

He has been widely dubbed as the best rugby player of either code throughout a distinguished career spanning 18 years before he called time in March aged 35.

"One of the Super League clubs reached out and were keen," he said.

"When I said 'yeah, I'll come' and that I was going to walk out on my contract, they s*** themselves.

"That's when (Toulon coach) Tana (Umaga) rang. It was never in my mind to play rugby (union) until then."

Williams was vilified back home, where he was dubbed 'Money Bill', and had to borrow a million dollars from friends to settle with the Bulldogs and secure "the circuit-breaker I needed".

Williams had never played rugby union in his life and Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal confessed he had never heard of him but England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was already at the club and he was among those to help him make the transition.

"I feel like Allah had put me in that place to learn from one of the true greats," he said.

Williams had already begun to turn to Islam and completed the conversion during his two years in France.

"I realised I needed boundaries and discipline to be a better man and I found that in my faith," he explained.

Williams also tried his hand at boxing, initially to help pay off his debts, and, having discovered a penchant for the 15-man game, he then turned his thoughts to becoming an All Black.

He succeeded in both sports before eventually getting the chance to play in Super League, albeit in the later stages of his career.

Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack, newly-promoted from the Championship, saw Williams as the man who could put them on the map, describing him as rugby league's Lebron James.

Williams says talking to Toronto coach Brian McDermott gave him "a new sense of purpose" but the knee injury he had carried virtually the whole of his career was beginning to take its toll and he managed just five appearances before the coronavirus pandemic forced a shutdown of the league.

When the Wolfpack opted to pull out of Super League in mid-season, Williams took up a short-term deal with Sydney Roosters and it was there he played his final game.

Toronto kept the door open for his return in 2021 but their application to rejoin Super League was rejected and Williams had by then bowed to the inevitable.

His year in Super League was not without its positives. The lockdown enabled him to spend quality time with his wife Alana and their four children in the leafy suburbs of Manchester.

"My wife talks about it today, she loved how quiet it was," he said. "There was a 10-kilometre walk track on our doorstep. We were in lockdown for eight months so every day we would be out walking.

"It was actually a really nice time with our young family and, although it was tough on the field, I really enjoyed my brief time in the Super League, especially the camaraderie with the boys. They were willing to give it a crack.

"It was really unfortunate because I really believed in the coach. We had no reserve grade and we got no allowances or help with things like the salary cap so the odds were stacked against us."

Williams received only a fraction of the 10 million dollars his two-year deal was thought to be worth after owner David Argyle quit the club and players are still owed money.

"We only got one or two payments and I still feel for the boys because of the financial strain it put on their households," he said.