Sonny Bill Williams has been subpoenaed to appear in the New South Wales Supreme Court court next Tuesday in the first step towards a possible injunction preventing the Bulldogs superstar walking out on the NRL club.
The stunning development comes as Williams surfaced at London's Heathrow Airport, where he was believed to be en route to Toulon in southern France.
The Bulldogs, with the support of the NRL, yesterday sought an injunction with the Supreme Court, which, if passed, would prevent Williams from taking up a rumoured $3 million, two-year deal to switch codes.
NRL chief executive David Gallop says Williams will be liable for contempt of court proceedings if he breaches an injunction, which could involve everything from arrest to seizure of assets.
Player manager Khoder Nasser has also been subpoenaed to provide documents relating to information on Williams's whereabouts by Thursday, despite assertions from the controversial player manager that he is not representing the runaway star.