Toronto set for go-ahead to enter club in English rugby league
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 24/04/16 11:20am
Toronto is set to become the latest city to have a club in English domestic rugby league, with former Great Britain coach Brian Noble taking charge of the Canadian team.
The plans, which have been two years in the making, will be unveiled in Toronto and linked by video to the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Leeds on Wednesday.
The proposals would see a Toronto-based side enter Kingstone Press League One, the third-tier of the professional game, in 2017.
Noble, one of the most successful coaches in Super League following his stint at Bradford from 2000-06, will be confirmed as the new club's director of rugby, with ex-Leigh boss Paul Rowley becoming the first head coach.
The project, which is the brainchild of Canadian entrepreneur Eric Perez, has the official backing of the Rugby Football League and received overwhelming support from the clubs.
The first Canadian trans-Atlantic pro sports team is expected to play home games at Lamport Stadium in blocks of three or four and go "on the road" for a similar length of time in the UK.
It is thought the team will initially be based in England and draw on players currently in the Championship and League One but the long-term aim will be to use players from the Canadian domestic competition and it could even become a stepping stone for a team in the United States to follow suit.
Both Canada and the US have international teams and the latter have qualified for the 2017 World Cup under Leeds coach Brian McDermott. The Canadians say they regularly attract crowds of 7,000 for international matches at the Lamport Stadium.