Sadly, today, the Toronto Wolfpack has decided to drop out of the Betfred Super League season and the Coral Challenge Cup in 2020. This article will take a look at why Wolfpack decided to drop out of the Super League season. It will also take a look at the Wolfpack’s possible plans for the future.
Toronto Wolfpack Will Not Participate in the 2020 Betfred Super League Season
Visa Issues and No Home Games
The warning signs that the Toronto Wolfpack may not play happened earlier this month. This is what David Argyle of the Wolfpack said according to Dave Woods of the BBC.
“It’s been suggested to us that we could loan young players from other clubs, but we’re not here to make up the numbers and we never have been.”
There were seven players that had visa issues, including rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams. This to a roster that is already thin to start the 2020 Betfred Super League season.
Toronto Wolfpack withdraw from 2020 season. pic.twitter.com/SXhBJLQ4kY
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) July 20, 2020
Another big reason outlined was the inability to play home games at Lamport Stadium. This happened because of the global coronavirus pandemic. It has caused significant financial challenges for the Toronto Wolfpack in many areas.
However, the Wolfpack are committed to paying their players and staff. They are also committed to play next year in 2021.
Toronto Wolfpack on what is next
The Toronto Wolfpack will probably be back in 2021. However, there are still several questions that need to be answered. Is it possible that the Wolfpack will have a deduction in points in the 2021 Super League season, or will they be relegated to the Championship? There is also a legitimate claim that the Wolfpack should have no penalty. A big reason for this was the coronavirus pandemic, which the Wolfpack nor anyone else would have predicted for 2020.
However, the situation has become more complicated. The Featherstone Rovers today announced that they want to be in Super League for 2020.
📝| Rovers have made contact with Super League officials today to express their interest in joining the Super League following Toronto Wolfpack's withdrawal from the country's elite competition.
— Featherstone Rovers (@FevRoversRLFC) July 20, 2020
This move makes sense for Super League for two reasons. One is that for the 2020 Betfred Super League season, they only have 11 teams. Having 12 teams will be better with minimal schedule changes compared to an 11 team Super League. The last reason is that the Featherstone Rovers was the Championship team closest to getting a promotion. The Rovers lost to the Toronto Wolfpack in the Championship Grand Final. This resulted in the Wolfpack getting a promotion to Super League.
According to CBC Sports, the Wolfpack do not get the Sky TV broadcast deal. This is worth $3.94 million in Canadian dollars. So, there might not be a problem with having a 13 team Super League. Then maybe two teams get relegated to the Championship in 2021.
However, teams like the London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique XIII might have problems with this. There is also no decision made on when the Championship season will start or not this year.
Overview of the Toronto Wolfpack Dropping Out of Super League
It is unfortunate that the Toronto Wolfpack had to drop out of Super League. However, it is nobody’s fault as the Wolfpack, the Rugby Football League (RFL), and Betfred Super League could not have predicted a pandemic to happen in 2020.
Looking ahead to 2021, there will be two teams in Canada with the recent introduction of the Ottawa Aces XIII. The Wolfpack can now look at 2021 and how that will look like for the Toronto Wolfpack.
One way to excite fans about the 2021 rugby league season is the possible “Canada Cup” between the Toronto Wolfpack and the Ottawa Aces XIII. Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa Aces XIII founder Eric Perez said on the Howlin Hour podcast:
“A home and away series every year with the Wolfpack. It is our own Challenge Cup between us.”
This possible Canada Cup would give the Toronto Wolfpack an extra home game. It would also give them another trophy to win in 2021. It would also hype up excitement with fans missing out on the Toronto Wolfpack in Super League this year.
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images