BY THOMAS ALDERSON
There is no question that the Toronto Wolfpack are making waves in rugby league. As well as being the first transatlantic rugby league team to ply their trade in the RFL’s professional leagues, they have also been very successful on the field in 2017, unbeaten so far in League One.
This is largely down to the hugely impressive playing roster the Wolfpack have put together. Luring in the likes of Super League stars from the last ten years such as captain Craig Hall and Richard Whiting, Toronto have looked overseas to snare the likes of former kiwi international Fuifui Moimoi as well as some dazzling Australian talents in Rhys Jacks and Blake Wallace.
The Wolfpack have made a habit of grabbing headlines with big name signings and their most recent addition certainly fits the bill as ex-Leeds Rhinos enforcer Ryan Bailey joined Toronto to bolster an already formidable forward pack.
There aren’t many higher decorated players in Super League’s history than the Leeds born prop. In a career stretching twelves seasons and 307 games for the Rhinos, Ryan has the rare ability to boast an impressive six Super League winners rings as he was main stay in the Rhinos’ pack in one of the clubs most dominant periods in history.
Add to that a Challenge Cup winners medal and three World Club Challenges, the accomplishments of Toronto’s newest star defy belief and the Rhinos academy graduate was rewarded for his form at Leeds through representative honours with England and Great Britain. He’s simply done it all and the Wolfpack fans can rightfully be excited to see the incredibly tough and uncompromising physicality Ryan brings to the game as well as exposing the Wolfpack squad to a man who was born and bred in a winning culture with an appetite for the biggest games.
The fact that a player of Bailey’s calibre has chosen to join the Wolfpack speaks volumes of the impact the club has had on the game and the image it is creating for itself; this is something Bailey alluded to when opening up on his move: ͞Leaving Leeds was huge and I struggled for a couple of years but I’ve joined Toronto now and it’s a massive challenge for me.” he said.
“We may be in the lower leagues at the moment but this team is strong and want to do well. We’re all about progressing and spreading the gospel of Rugby League to Canada and that’s something I really wanted to be a part of.” he added.
Ryan has certainly made a splash since joining the club. Emerging as a real leader on the field in the games he’s played, Ryan also scored a barnstorming try on his home debut against Barrow so Wolfpack fans keep an eye out for the newest recruit, he’ll certainly be a stand out for the rest of this season and beyond!