Rams coach Kelly issues warning over Toronto trips

Dewsbury Rams coach Neil Kelly says he would be happy to advise other clubs about the visa pitfalls that left him with just 16 players for Saturday’s trip to Toronto.

Kelly insists the Rams started their visa process in plenty of time but still had to leave players, including stand-off half and goalkicker Paul Sykes, behind for the Trans-Atlantic trip.

The Rams coach places no blame with the Wolfpack over the issue, but says others need to be aware of it, especially Super League and Championship clubs travelling to Canada at short notice in the upcoming Qualifiers.

Speaking to League Express from Toronto, Kelly said: “I’m disappointed we could only take 16 players, as we started this process in early April because we wanted to avoid situations like this.

“From my understanding, the problem is in no way the responsibility of Toronto Wolfpack but the so-called visa experts, who have been a little lax in trying to obtain a visa clearance for players with more complicated applications.

“Maybe the RFL could get involved in these cases, because I’m pretty sure that we haven’t been and won’t be the only team to experience this problem.

“Super League teams involved in the Qualifiers especially, they need to make certain that they travel to Toronto with their strongest team and not one that is weakened by Canadian border control.

“Once we were in Toronto we were all well looked after.

“I would be more than happy to discuss our trip with any other club that may have to come and play in Toronto.”

The Rams lost Saturday’s Championship clash 64-12 after playing a man short.

Barrow Raiders suffered similar problems last year with Martin Aspinwall, Dan Toal and Danny Morrow unable to obtain the necessary paperwork in time to travel for the May league clash, and Jamie Dallimore turned away at check-in.