General Toronto Wolfpack

  • Thread starter Lord Gnome of Howick MBE
  • Start date
Toronto and Toulouse are both going to be making a big push for Super League next season.

Toulouse have signed Sam Rapira and Toronto are rumoured to be after Dave Taylor and Ashton Simms.

It's going to be an interesting year as a Super League is definitely going down now that Hull KR have been promoted.
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Plans for new Canadian team as Wolfpack recruit star power

Recruitment shows Wolfpack's ambitions as plans for another Canadian team emerge.

Fiji international Ashton Sims, former Australian forward Dave Taylor and St George Illawarra halfback Josh McCrone have been confirmed as Toronto Wolfpack's star signings for the 2018 season amid revelations a second Canadian team could also be vying to join Super League.

Sims, who is expected to play for the Bati alongside brothers Tariq and Korbin at the Rugby League World Cup, will move to Canada after three seasons with Warrington, while Taylor and McCrone become the first players recruited directly from the NRL to the Wolfpack.

The trio will lead Toronto's ambition to become the first North American team to play in a top flight competition by winning promotion to Super League from the tier two Championship, where they will play in 2018 after dominating League One this season.

The success of the Wolfpack has prompted speculation about a second team in either New York, Montreal or Vancouver and Wolfpack owner Eric Perez confirmed planning was underway for another Canadian side to follow the the same path as Toronto.

"I can tell you that there is a second Canadian team in the works right now that could be announced in the next six months to start playing in 2019," Perez told The Jeff Blair Show on

"That shows how successful we though the first season went that the League is now ready to bring a second Canadian team on board, so it is pretty exciting and I am working day to day on that."

Perez said the new team was expected to start in League One and try to win their way into the Championship and then Super League.

"The maths is definitely working out much better than we thought it would and by the time we get to Super League we will be more than turning a profit," he said.

To help them achieve that goal Wolfpack director of rugby, Brian Noble, and coach, Paul Rowley, have recruited Sims, Taylor and McCrone as well as Salford prop Olsi Krasniqi and Widnes centre Tom Armstrong.

They will join the likes of former New Zealand prop Fuifui Moimoi, ex-England forward Ryan Bailey, Ireland hooker Bob Beswick, Scotland halfback Ryan Brierley and USA fullback Ryan Burroughs.

"As soon as I was made aware that Dave Taylor was interested in the challenge of representing the Wolfpack, I jumped at the chance to make this happen," Noble said.

"The Canadian fans will just love the ‘Coal Train’; his explosive style, his power, speed and tremendous range of skills will give our group a new dimension moving forward and I genuinely can’t wait for him to hit the straps at Lamport Stadium next year.

"I am relishing the prospect of Dave lining up alongside Ashton Sims and our existing big pack of forwards next year."

Taylor, 28, has had stints with Brisbane, South Sydney, Gold Coast, Catalans and Canberra.

"There’s clearly some crazy good things happening with rugby league in Toronto and I can’t wait to get there," Taylor said.
"I’m pretty sure they’ll like my style of play & hopefully it will excite Canada."

The signing of McCrone ahead of established Super League clubs is also a coup for a Canada-based franchise that has played just one season in the third tier of the English competition.

"Josh is a vastly experienced NRL player with 150 plus games under his belt at the highest level in the game and I am looking forward to him joining the Wolfpack in 2018," Noble said.

"His astute kicking game and his silky playmaking skills sat behind our big pack of forwards will give us plenty of options as we face up to the new challenge of life in the Championship next year.

"Josh will also bring great leadership qualities to our group, and we know he will be a strong influence on our developing team.”

McCrone said: "I am looking forward to the opportunity to be part of the first Trans-Atlantic pro sports team and our journey to the Super League."

Sims, who represented Fiji at the 2013 World Cup and captained the Bati in the Pacific Test the following year, has played for the Dragons, Broncos and Cowboys before moving to Warrington.

"I am so honoured to have represented not only this club, but the people of Warrington and hope they know that I put every ounce of energy into this jersey doing the sport I love," Sims said.

"As my youngest daughter Kaya was born here, I'll always have ties to this great town.

"I'm genuinely really looking forward to this journey with the Toronto Wolfpack but before that I really want to finish off these last two games the right way after a rough season."

By Brad Walter | @BradWalterSport
Chief Correspondent, RLWC2017

USA wins Americas championship

By Brian Lowe, Date: 18/9/17

The USA Hawks have warmed up for next month’s Rugby League World Cup by winning the 2017 Americas Championship series.

The US beat Canada 36-18 Saturday night in Toronto.

Canada opened proceedings like a sprinter out of the starting blocks to get on the board first, but the USA recovered from the initial setback and were never threatened from that point on.

The Hawks answered the Wolverines’ early strike with two quick tries to get out to a 10-6 lead within the opening quarter of the game.

The Hawks increased the margin with their third converted score to make it a 16-6 ballgame late in the first half.

The home team was making life difficult for itself by lacking patience on offense and not maintaining possession. Completing sets was a problem.

The half ended without any further additions to the scoreboard, but the second stanza opened with the Americans making yards on almost every carry, putting the Canadian defense under heavy pressure from the get go.

That concentrated pressure saw the Wolverines’ defense crack early as the US went in for their fourth try and a 20-6 lead.

Three minutes later and the Hawks dotted down for the fifth time in the game to extend their lead to 24-6 and at that point things began to look very ominous for the home side.

Midway through the second half and the visitors from south of the border had a firm grip on the championship trophy, while Canada was staring down the barrel of a third straight defeat in a month.

The Wolverines looked to be turning the tables and threatened to add to their score following a solid build-up of their own pressure, but despite mounting several waves of attack from inside the Hawks’ red zone, they couldn’t penetrate the Americans’ defensive patterns.

Canada looked to have scored when halfback Rhys Jacks darted through a couple of defenders from close range, but spilled the ball over the line.

From the ensuing scrum, the US ran the ball to the other end of the field where they finished off a long passing movement that went from one side to the other to score under the posts. With the successful conversion and with time ticking away, the USA had an unassailable lead of 30-6.

However, the visitors weren’t done yet and their seventh try pushed the buffer out to 36-6.

Then finally, and much to the delight of the Lamport Stadium crowd, Canada’s Jack Couzens scored for the Wolverines close to fulltime to bring a little respectability to the scoreline at 36-12.

And for good measure, the Wolverines scored their third converted try as the final whistle was about to blow for a final score of 36-18.

USA tryscorers included Bureta Faraimo (3), Taylor Alley (2), Junior Vaivai and Martwain Johnston, while Vaivai kicked three conversions and Faraimo booted one.

“I am extremely happy with the result,” said Hawks coach Sean Rutgerson. “I thought we defended really well and that our game plan was well executed for the most part.

“This game has put us in a great position to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses heading into the World Cup and the win is a great morale boost for the team.”

Conversely, it’s back to the drawing board for the Canadians who have two more games coming up against police teams from New Zealand and Britain.

“When we’re under pressure we tend to move away from our game plan and we’ve probably got to have an honest discussion with the senior player group about that,” Canada head coach Ben Fleming said after the match.

Wolverines captain Eddie Bilborough said matches against the USA are always intense and this one was no different.

“We got a good early jump, but they just kept coming at us,” he said. “They got to the World Cup for a reason in 2017 and they showed us why tonight.”

Upload 2017 9 21 11 19 14

Earlier in the day, the Toronto Wolfpack wrapped up their triumphant inaugural season in the Kingstone Press League 1 with a come from behind 26-14 win against Doncaster in the curtain-raiser.

Joe Westerman: Toronto Wolfpack sign Warrington loose forward

  • 1 Oct


Joe Westerman joined Wolves from Hull FC in 2015
Newly promoted Championship side Toronto Wolfpack have signed loose forward Joe Westerman from Warrington Wolves for £130,000.

Westerman, 27, will join the League One champions on a three-year deal.

He follows former Wire team-mate Ashton Sims to the Canadian club, who have also signed London Broncos hooker Andy Ackers on a two-year deal.

"It's a massive club with great support and I think it's only going to get better and bigger," said Westerman.

"I was attracted to the club because of what I'm seeing and hearing from players who are already there."

The former Castleford and Hull player joined Warrington two years ago on a three-year deal for £150,000.

Toronto director of rugby Brian Noble added: "This is a real coup for the Wolfpack with Joe's best years still in front of him."
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Toronto Wolfpack owner Eric Perez plans to launch two more American sides

By Dave Woods

BBC rugby league correspondent

  • 8 Oct


Toronto Wolfpack gained promotion to the Championship tier this season with a 26-2 win over Barrow to claim the League 1 title
The man behind the Toronto Wolfpack is set to launch bids for two more North America rugby league sides.

Eric Perez is in advanced talks with two professional sports clubs, believed to be in Hamilton and Boston, and will begin negotiations with the Rugby Football League in the next few days.

And he's hoping that both clubs can be launched by 2019 and 2020.

"I'm hoping that within the next six months we can make a formal announcement," Perez told BBC Sport.

"I can't really say where they are right now," he added.

"I don't know where the Hamilton rumour came from, but it would be a logical choice. Hamiton is about an hour away from Toronto. There's about a million people in the area, but between Toronto and Hamilton there are 12 million people.

"I can't confirm or deny (Boston), but you are very well informed. It's a good speculation, but there could be other cities in the mix."

Toronto were promoted from League One this year after a season that saw them lose just one league game. They have already made a number of big name signings including Warrington pair Joe Westernan and Ashton Simms ahead of their push to claim a place in Super League.

But Perez says this was never just a one club project.

"When we started this journey, we knew that one team is not enough to yield what you need to yield from the market." he said. "To bring revenues, to really start bringing new money into the sport you've got to have multi-markets.

"Now that Toronto is up and running and in a very good place - definitely the strongest team commercially outside of Super League - it's time to fulfil that destiny and get the next teams set up.

"I've decided to partner up with other professional sports teams that own their markets, so they already have the infrastructure and the expertise set up which will make it easier.

"Toronto was the first of its kind, so a test project. There were a lot of mistakes made and a lot of lessons learned. By partnering with these other professional teams I think we will find an easier road to success."


Toronto signed elite level talent to state their intentions to join Super League including former Tonga international prop FuiFui MoiMoi
And he says the new clubs would be happy to come into the Rugby League structure at whatever level the game chose.

"Everyone knows the format might be changing, so that remains to be seen." he added.

"But we're looking at 2019 and 2020 kick offs for these new clubs. If we do start in League 1 then that's fair, but if we start higher, then that's because the format has changed.

"Wherever we start we'll work our way to the Super League."

And he says three North American clubs is not the limit of his ambitions.

"We are looking to make Super League the most commercially viable competition, apart from the Premiership, that plays in the northern hemisphere.

"To do that you need to have more North American markets, at least five or six clubs in the next 10 years."

You can listen to more from Eric Perez in the rugby league podcast from Monday, 9 October.

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