RL Commercial chief on how Super League fixtures are decided and what happened with Toronto Wolfpack

IT’S fair to say that Toronto Wolfpack kicked up an almighty stir before disappearing in a whimper after just four years.

Created in 2016 by a group of ten businessmen, consisting of mostly Canadians and Australian mining millionaire David Argyle, owning the club, the Wolfpack earned promotion from League One in their first season in 2017.

The Canadian side failed to win promotion to Super League in 2018, but the Wolfpack were successful the year after, meaning they set up for the top flight in 2019 after just three seasons as a professional entity.

That being said, the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, financial difficulties and new logistics needed for international travel saw them withdraw from Super League in July 2020.

Toronto’s bid to be readmitted for 2021 was rejected in November 2020, meaning the Canadian side was removed from Super League.

For RL Commercial Managing Director, Rhodri Jones, Covid-19 was all to blame.

“Ultimately Covid-19 killed them off, it become too difficult and as much as we tried to help and support a solution-based focus, it was just impossible for them to see that through,” Jones said on The League Express podcast.

“Would they still be around today? It’s a really good question, I don’t think we know the answer. I’d like to think they would have seen that 2020 season out.

“They were six losses from six games in the opening six rounds, but they would have taken some scalps that summer in Toronto having been out there, playing out on the pitch and with the heat in Toronto.

“I think it would have been really interesting to see where they would have ended that year.”

Year on year, there are always great debates about how fixtures are created, but Jones reflected that is just the way it works.

“It’s a really interesting one, you could look at anybody’s schedule and say ‘that’s not great’ but that’s just the way the computer throws the fixture out.

“We have so many things we have to consider, there is an element of there being no easy games and no ideal sequence.”

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