Toronto Wolfpack officials are lining up a shock return this year with an exhibition match at Lamport Stadium in the works.
The event, headed by coach Brian McDermott, is being organised for later this year and would feature players from the Wolfpack’s history against a ‘relevant’ opponent.
The Wolfpack were kicked out of Super League late last year following a vote of the Super League executive and its club, a vote that seemingly consigned them to history.
But McDermott insists there remain a desire and enthusiasm to make the Wolfpack and Rugby League in North America succeed and it’s hoped that the event will help keep the club active until a more significant resurrection can take place.
“For many people, the game has moved on and they’ve cracked on, but for some, it hasn’t,” McDermott said.
“There are a few reasons for doing this, to keep the relevance of Toronto Wolfpack and awareness of Rugby League in Canada high and to get a crowd, to put a game on for the fans who never really got a chance to say goodbye to Toronto Wolfpack.
“They are nice to-dos, but the main reason is I don’t believe Toronto Wolfpack to be dead. I don’t believe that myself. I do believe the game needs to go beyond and I do believe Toronto Wolfpack will come back. When it does, I don’t want it to be a case of the brand not being used in the public eye for such a long period of time. Keeping the brand relevant is key.
“Doing it in collaboration with Canadian Rugby League is key, providing that level of entertainment Toronto loved and giving them something as they never got a chance through 2020 is key. There are a few different reasons there, but from my own personal belief, because I believe Toronto Wolfpack is dormant, it’s not dead in my eyes.”
A firm date has yet to be agreed but it’s hoped that it will allow former Wolfpack players to return to Lamport and pull on the jersey one more time.
“It’s going to be later in the year for sure. There are a few different things that need to fall into place, the availability of past and present players and then Covid-relate issues. Hopefully by late summer would be a realistic time to set.
“If it’s just giving them one more game to say goodbye, if that works for people, cool, but for me it’s about keeping it relevant as I know it’s coming back. It’s about giving them hope and proving it works. Of all the reasons we got refused, none was a lack of interest.
“This is not some sort of blind, naive hope, this is based on fact and recent events.”