Toronto Wolfpack are set to make their Summer Bash debut as they face fifth-place Leigh, and Blake Wallace admits fans should expect to see more from the side.
Paul Rowley’s side are leading the way in the Championship with 12 wins, losing points to London and a draw to Barrow Raiders.
It was no secret the desire chief executive Eric Perez had to become the best team in the world, and one player that bought into that was half-back Blake Wallace.
The Australian-born player joined Toronto for their debut year, featuring in League One and scoring their first try in pre-season against Hull FC.
Wolfpack will now make their Summer Bash debut in the Championship just over a year after being founded by Perez, which will commence their current tour around the UK.
The team recently took a home fixture to London to face Halifax before travelling to Halliwell Jones Stadium in the Challenge Cup. Toronto also clashed with Toulouse to open the Magic Weekend in Newcastle’s fourth year and will now prepare for their game with Leigh by the seaside.
Wallace joined from New South Wales Cup side Illawarra Cutters, the reserve side for NRL’s St George Illawarra Dragons.
“It was my boss that I worked for in Australia, Shane Millard, who played Super League and he knew Brian Noble and he threw my name at them and sort of went from there,” said Wallace.
“It’s something different and so I said why not. I like getting out of my comfort zone and it was a good opportunity.”
The number 17 featured from the bench in last week’s Magic Weekend win over Toulouse, and was the first try-scorer for Toronto Wolfpack on Canadian soil.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said.
“It wasn’t something that you think about at the time, it’s more after when people mention it to you. It’s a pretty good honour to have and I’m pretty lucky.”
Toronto have been televised twice in the last three-weeks, and the Summer Bash is another opportunity for the side to develop the sport in Canada.
“It’s massive. I think we’ve got to showcase the kind of footy we can play and to do it at these sort of stages is a massive opportunity,” said Wallace.
“This will be my first time out there. It should be good.
“It’s a big game for us, they’re [Leigh] playing really well and have got some good players right across the park.
“It’s a big challenge for us. We’ve had a good week training so far.
“We’ve got to just take it as every other game, we all come in and figure it out what kind of game plan we want to play with. We can’t focus on them too much, they’re a quality side so we will see what we can do.”
Toronto are five points ahead of second-placed London Broncos, who will face Toulouse on the opening game of the Sunday. However, Wallace believes there is more yet to come from the side.
“I don’t think we have seen the best,” he admitted.
“We have a lot of improvement left in us and we want to keep getting better.”
Following Blackpool’s Bash, Toronto are set to head home to Canada and play their first game of the season at Lamport Stadium, previously hosting Swinton Lions at Fletcher’s Field.
“You’ve got to play at all these different grounds and get to go to Toronto as well, it’s awesome. We get to play at really good stadiums and it’s exciting to be part of.
“The crowd we get there are unbelievable so to get back over there and get a good run of home games in front of crowds is good for us. The fans are amazing, the new boys who haven’t played there yet are very excited.
“Last year it was unique. I didn’t know what to expect, but the fans have really taken to the side and they’re really enthusiastic and passionate and get really behind us. We’re only going to get bigger the better we go.”