Warrington duo to join Toronto

Warrington Wolves have confirmed that James Laithwaite and Gary Wheeler will join Toronto at the end of the season.

The pair have struggled to establish themselves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this season, with Laithwaite yet to make an appearance this season while injuries have restricted Wheeler to just 12 appearances for the Wolves since joining in 2015 from St Helens.

They become the Canadia clubs third and fourth signings, following Leigh’s Liam Kay and Wakefield’s Craig Hall to join the Wolfpack.

Laithwaite said: “It’s a new chapter in my life moving over there. It’s somewhere different to play my rugby. I have been at Warrington since I was 11 so it’s all I’m used to; all I’ve ever known. To go out there and play will be a challenge but one I can’t wait for.

“I’ve been out for a year now so my focus is on getting back playing and everything else will come. It will be good to get back on the field and show what I can do. It’s something new so a bit of gamble maybe but something I’m willing to take a chance on; apparently they are big on their rugby over there and it could really take off and be the start of something good. It gives me a chance to travel and an opportunity to see more of the world. Toronto looks like a great city, I know Gaz Wheeler and a few of the lads who have signed too.

“I’ve not got a bad word to say about Warrington. I’ve got a lot of good friends here. I’ve had some great times here; ones I will never forget. When I was young all I wanted to do was play for Warrington and it’s something I’ve done and am proud of – my family are proud of. I’ve loved every minute of being here. I’ve played with some great players, made some great mates; thanks for the memories. And Tony has said that the door is always open!”

Wheeler added: “It will be a new experience for me out there and a chance to get some good game time under my belt and start enjoying my rugby again. It will be a change and it will do me good. I am looking forward to the experience over there. I get on well with Jams and have got a few other mates going there as well which will make the trip a lot easier with leaving family at home.

“Hopefully it takes off over there. It will be good for the other teams who come over to see another part of the world and vice versa.

“I’ve loved my time at Warrington and I’ve enjoyed every single minute. The club has been absolutely brilliant with me and helped me in my career along the way. Obviously it’s come to an end before I’d have liked it to but that’s rugby.”