It is official. The Toronto Wolfpack starting roster was revealed on Thursday. This is for the September 18 game against DC Cavalry. Most of these players play in Canada, which is in large contrast to previous Wolfpack editions. It is a good thing though as it grows the game of rugby league in Canada.
The Toronto Wolfpack return and the roster was revealed
The Toronto Wolfpack is back
THE PACK IS BACK! Join us on Saturday, September 18 at 7pm as the Toronto Wolfpack take on the DC Cavalry Rugby League, led by former Wolfpack fan favourite, Ryan Burroughs in the inaugural Canada Cup at Lamport Stadium. Stay tuned for more details including ticketing info #NARL pic.twitter.com/wA0uCvi8Ck
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) August 26, 2021
It is unclear why the Ottawa Aces XIII is not in this match. This article is not going to speculate on the Aces though. This article is going to be about the Wolfpack and what changed since being kicked out of the Super League in November 2020. Since then, there has been a lot of movement about the Wolfpack.
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) March 31, 2021
For one, the North American Rugby League (NARL), where Toronto is now playing has formed a league earlier this year. Currently, there are 12 American NARL and two Canadian NARL teams. Similarly, the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL) was formed in February. This league will have both men’s and women’s teams launch the league next year. Additionally, in this league, Toronto will have both men’s and women’s teams, but the organization will be different from the Wolfpack.
This is fantastic news for rugby league in Canada and North America. One of the points against the Wolfpack, when they were in the RFL, was that they did not have local players on their team. This is somewhat true, however, it is very difficult when Canadians were likely not good enough for the Wolfpack to achieve the goal of Super League. Now, though, there are two men’s and one women’s leagues where that platform is available for North American players.
An article done for LWOS Rugby early last year looked at the second wave of Canadian sports. In that article, it had a quote from Wolfpack and Aces founder Eric Perez that the Canada Wolverines will be a top four-nation in 25 years. With all these leagues though, the Wolverines have the ability to become a top four-nation much before 25 years.
The roster was revealed
Head Coach, Matt Wyles along with Assistant Coaches Robin Legault, Henry Miers, Steve Piatek and Akarika Dawn coaches are pleased to announce their squads for today’s final Toronto Wolfpack, Trial Game at 5pm at @BramptonBeaver #TorontoWolfpack #runwiththepack #NARL #thetimeisnow pic.twitter.com/aSILk2ceh6
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) August 28, 2021
The 20-man Wolfpack roster was revealed. Not too much is known about these players. That is fine though as everyone will know these players eventually. It is important to note that many or all these players are going to get their first crack in the professional game in Toronto. It is also important to note though that only 20 of the 25 players have been announced on the squad.
Two players on the main roster are Greg Wise and Charles Curran. According to Darryl G. Smart of Smart Sports Network, both players play for the Norfolk Harvesters Rugby Football Club. Wise has also played for the Brantford Broncos. Alan Taylor of 613 Sports, had some more information on Wise, where the current halfback was introduced to the sport of rugby league in 2016.
The train-on squad will compete for the remaining five spots on the Wolfpack’s roster. One player on the train-on roster is Andrew Porter, who played for the Vancouver Dragons (seen on the Vancouver Rugby League Facebook group) and was part of Canada’s 2021 Rugby World Cup qualification according to Canada Rugby League.
One of the more notable ones on the train-on roster is Tony Felix. According to Michael Hayakawa of York Region, he played with an amateur rugby league team, the Toronto Centurions in 2012. He made his debut with the Wolverines in 2010. He was also named the 2012 Canadian RLIF Player of the Year. One of the players on the train-on squad is Daniel Tupou from Markham, Ontario. Tupou has played for the Canada Wolverines since 2010.
The Toronto Wolfpack is officially back on September 18
Tickets now available!!! Please join us next Saturday when we welcome the DC Cavalry to Toronto and “The Den” for the inaugural Canada Cup game against a NARL Team at Lamport Stadium.
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) September 10, 2021
The Toronto Wolfpack return home for the first time since 2019
September 18 promises to be a special day and the result is not what the game is about. Yes, it would be nice for the Wolfpack to get a win and receive the inaugural Canada Cup award. However, more importantly, the team is coming back and has kept its history. Yes, the Pack is under new ownership in a different league. However, their history of previous coaches and trophies from the RFL days are kept intact. There is also a legacy that exists with the Wolfpack.
Chris Coates, one of the founders of the CCCRL, said this about the impact of the Wolfpack on Michael Carbone’s Chasing the Kangaroos podcast:
“Without the hard work of things like the Wolfpack, there would not be any fans out there wanting to support as much as Canada.”
Saying that Toronto fans should expect the level of play to be lower than previous iterations of the Wolfpack organization. It is important to note that next year will be the very first time several Canadians will be given chances to play rugby league professionally (this is different than the Wolfpack’s early days in the RFL when they only had a few Canadians). The goal though might be the Wolfpack and the NARL becoming a league that will have players as skilled if not higher skilled than Super League one day.
New partnerships and tickets for the game on September 18
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) August 30, 2021
The Pack has also been busy with partnerships. Recently, they announced their hotel partnership with Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport, the partnership with Iroquois Roots Rugby, and Liquid Death Mountain Water becoming the Pack’s jersey sponsor.
There is not any indication right now of how fans of both teams can watch the game. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lamport Stadium. Tickets are also available for Wolfpack games. However, the capacity has been cut down to 2,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic (explained in the Toronto Wolfpack Facebook post). In that same Facebook post, they talked about the Ontario Greybeards Masters team taking on the Ontario Rugby League (ORL) Women’s team. The game will take place at 5:30 ET at Lamport Stadium.
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