Toronto Wolfpack CEO Eric Perez has revealed he would like to see another Canadian-based side enter the domestic league structure in 2019: and says that the Wolfpack’s impending debut is a major stepping stone for the future of rugby league.
Perez’s vision of having a trans-Atlantic team in the British league structure becomes a reality on Sunday when they face Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium.
And he said at a media conference on Thursday that he thinks the Wolfpack’s launch can be the catalyst for a bright future for rugby league.
“In the fullness of time, when people look back at it, they will think this is the next big stepping stone,” said Perez.
“They will look at this and say ‘this is the time when we took control of our game’.
“It’s better than what it’s been. All the oppression that it’s been under for the last hundred years, we’re wiping away in markets that don’t care about class difference.
“I think this is going to be the time when things will move into a bigger and better direction.”
Perez also declared his vision to see the sport expand even further into North America.
“From minute one when I presented this to the RFL, we had a 10-15 year plan of expansion,” he said. “Montreal is next on the list. We hope to have a Montreal team in League 1 by 2019.
“We already a few pretty big ownership groups that are interested.
“Toronto is a city of six million people and, within an-hour’s radius, you’ve got 10 million. We’ve passed Chicago as the third biggest metropolitan centre in North America.
“After Montreal let’s get into the United States, Boston, New York and go from there.”