BY THOMAS ALDERSON
The emergence of the Toronto Wolfpack has opened up opportunities for rugby league expansion on an unprecedented level. Not only that, it has produced opportunities for players to experience things they probably never thought they would when they first started out on their paths to become professional rugby league players.
Playing for the Wolfpack has allowed the players to experience the demands of regular transatlantic travel throughout the domestic season, as well as being thoroughly accepted by the Canadian public as stars of a sport that was previously foreign to them, but it has also enabled them to fully embrace the City of Toronto and the Canadian culture.
During episode 4 of Last Tackle TVs – Inside the Toronto Wolfpack, we step away from the field for a moment to have a look at how the various members of the squad have taken to life in one of Canada’s major cities.
Alongside Wolfpack Director Adam Fogerty, North American rooted players Ryan Burroughs and Rhys Jacks, as well as other intrigued TWP players, dive right in to the heart of Canadian sport by browsing the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ice hockey is a sport synonymous with Canada; their national team being among the best in the world, and it was a highly interesting and educational visit for the Wolfpack members who were all too happy to learn some more about the sporting society they are currently tapping into.
Further to that, Fogerty, Director of Rugby Brian Noble MBE, Blake Wallace and Assistant Coach Simon Finnigan take a trip to the critically acclaimed Second City Theatre in Toronto to get involved in some first-hand improv and comedy sketches to the delight of the locals.
It is clear from the enjoyment of the player and staff, alongside the Canadian people, that the Toronto Wolfpack’s presence as a new entity in Canada is one that has been met with huge positivity and their integration into the city of Toronto’s society has been seamless.
As the season progresses towards its climax, the TWP’s appetite to support various aspects of city life in Toronto bodes well for the support the club can expect to get come game day. This has been evident with attendances at Lamport Stadium consistently trumping that of some Super League team’s home crowds and the support shown to the players is invaluable as they look to secure automatic promotion.