Toronto Wolfpack to keep faith with current squad in Super League

Toronto will keep 90 per cent of the players that earned the fledgling club promotion from the Championship for their assault on Super League, says director of rugby Brian Noble.

The Wolfpack spent heavily on recruitment last winter, bringing in the likes of Ricky Leutele and Jon Wilkin, after losing out to London Broncos in the 2018 Million Pound Game.

And the investment paid off with a 24-6 victory over Featherstone in Saturday's Grand Final in Ontario.

It meant the club founded by Eric Perez in 2016 with a five-year plan to reach the top flight achieved its target with two years to spare.

"We're keeping 90 per cent of this team because I think there's 20 per cent improvement in them," said Noble, who put together the initial Toronto team and gradually added to it.

"We know we need to be a little bit faster and a little bit stronger but I think the character will get them through a lot of games next year.

"Clearly we need to add so there will be three or four players to come in."

The Wolfpack have been keeping a close eye on the Rugby World Cup and have been linked with an audacious move for New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams.

One player who will not be part of the team in 2020 is Australian forward Ashton Sims, who brought the curtain down on his 17-year career at the end of Saturday's game.

"It's special to bow out like that," said the former Warrington prop. "All I cared about was a positive result at the end of the game and I'm pretty satisfied."

Sims paid tribute to head coach Brian McDermott, the former Leeds and London boss who has taken Toronto into Super League in his first season.

"I really wish I'd met Brian early in my career," Sims added. "He's been super for me this year with his different outlook on rugby league.

"We had a really nice moment at the end of the game, I'm like the younger brother he never ever wanted."

McDermott, meanwhile, re-iterated his plea for further expansion in Super League, arguing the presence of big cities is the only way to attract major investment and a lucrative television deal.

"In five years' time if the Challenge Cup and Grand Finals are contested by teams from the north of England, it's won't work, it's never going to get investment," he said.

"You've got to have names such as London, Toronto, Toulouse, Barcelona and New York.

"I'm not really surprised with some of the anti-Toronto mentality from the north of England but I'm astounded there are so many question marks about whether we should or shouldn't be in, I'm astounded that people don't have the vision.

"Can you honestly tell me that Super League has progressed in any sort of fashion since 1996?

"Other sports like Premiership soccer, cricket, rugby union and tennis have all grown dramatically and we haven't and I am sure it's got to do with the fact that small towns in the north west of England and a couple of teams from Yorkshire have only ever won the Grand Final."

McDermott's controversial stance received the support of his captain Josh McCrone, who said: "Rugby league has got to grow to survive, everywhere in the world.

"Toronto is fantastic city to start the expansion, it's one of the best cities I've ever been to in the world. The sky's the limit for football in Toronto."

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Michael van Gerwen with the Champions League of Darts belt (Picture: Paddy Power on Twitter)1

MVG stuns Wright in final

Michael van Gerwen added the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts title to his astonishing CV as he overcame Peter Wright 11-10 in a thrilling final.

Jurgen Klopp reacts during Liverpool's draw with Manchester United2

Klopp blasts United's system

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his frustration at Manchester United's defensive approach when they come up against Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford in action at Old Trafford3

Liverpool happier with point?

Tom McDermott analyses Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford and wonders what ramifications the result will have for both sides for the rest of the season.

4

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day5

Daily Nap: Dragon to fire

Matt Brocklebank focuses on the opening race at Pontefract as he picks out the Daily Nap from Monday's racing action.

Most Read

Michael van Gerwen with the Champions League of Darts belt (Picture: Paddy Power on Twitter)1

MVG stuns Wright in final

Michael van Gerwen added the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts title to his astonishing CV as he overcame Peter Wright 11-10 in a thrilling final.

Jurgen Klopp reacts during Liverpool's draw with Manchester United2

Klopp blasts United's system

Jurgen Klopp has expressed his frustration at Manchester United's defensive approach when they come up against Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford in action at Old Trafford3

Liverpool happier with point?

Tom McDermott analyses Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford and wonders what ramifications the result will have for both sides for the rest of the season.

4

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day5

Daily Nap: Dragon to fire

Matt Brocklebank focuses on the opening race at Pontefract as he picks out the Daily Nap from Monday's racing action.

Racing Tips

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Dragon to fire

Matt Brocklebank focuses on the opening race at Pontefract as he picks out the Daily Nap from Monday's racing action.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

Next Race Off

02:12 Mountaineer
8
(8)
Lucacito
J: Luis Quinones
4
(4)
Spotty Zealous
J: Wilkin Ortiz
10
(10)
Pequeno Grande
J: Charle Oliveros

Football Tips

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

Sporting Life's preview of Manchester United v Liverpool

Target these two at Old Trafford

Super Sunday sees the return of one of the Premier League's biggest rivalries as Manchester United take on Liverpool, and Tom Carnduff has a brace of bets.