Toronto Wolfpack to join English rugby league

Updated: 

Canadian team Toronto Wolfpack will join the third tier of rugby league in England in 2017, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has confirmed.

The newly formed Wolfpack will play home and away League One fixtures in blocks of four or five and will bear the expense for flying visiting teams out for matches at the Lamport Stadium.

Former Bradford Bulls, Wigan Warriors and Great Britain coach Brian Noble has joined as director of rugby, with Paul Rowley, formerly of Leigh Centurions, taking up the position of head coach.

"It is with great pleasure that I can confirm Toronto Wolfpack's entry into Kingstone Press League One next season," said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood in a statement.

"We have worked closely with the Canadian club'' officials and investors in the last few years and have no doubts that Toronto Wolfpack will enhance a competition which has already established a reputation for welcoming new clubs.

"Rugby League has always had a pioneering philosophy throughout its history and this initiative offers further evidence of the sport's wide appeal and readiness to embrace innovation.

"We are looking forward to working with Toronto Wolfpack, who will join us with the unanimous support of our member clubs."

Toronto will also be invited to participate in next year's Challenge Cup, when the competition celebrates its 120th anniversary.