Corey Knox: Trialing for Toronto

Two months ago the Toronto Wolfpack encouraged thousands of people to take part in trials across a number of cities in North and South America, including Philadelphia, Toronto and Kingston.

Each person went along with their eyes set on the prize of potentially being handed a professional contract with the Wolfpack.

This week those thousands of participants have been whittled down to just 18 who are training in Brighouse, in Yorkshire, to contest for a rare spot with the Championship 1 side.

One of those is American Corey Knox, who played fullback for the University of Buffalo and previously joined NFL side the Buffalo Bills for a spring camp last year.

Knox was delighted when it was announced he had selected for the final Toronto trial.

“I was thrilled,” he told Love Rugby League.

“It’s been something that I’ve been working towards for a little bit here.

“All the hard work that I’ve put in over the years is kind of paying off.

“I wanted to thank my agent, Craig Rogalski at CK Talent Management for all his help, guidance and support through this process.”

The 27-year old admitted the tempo will present the biggest challenge adjusting from American Football to Rugby League.

“The non-stop pace of the game will definitely take some getting used to,” he said.

“In American Football you’ve got some breaks in-between each play and you’ve got timeouts.”

Knox is not a man who gives up easily. After being released by the Bills, he braved a snow storm to show how much he wanted to play, standing outside the Ralph Wilson Stadium for a couple of hours.

This determination is the factor which Knox believes will help him secure a place on the Wolfpack team.

“I’ve always been a person that no matter what is put in front of me I’m going to go until I can’t go anymore,” he said.

“I know that if I continue to work and learn the game and progress as an athlete in that realm then I think I could be very good.”

Another aspect of the opportunity which excites Knox is that Toronto is not a million miles away from his home over the border in Buffalo.

“I’m from the great city of Buffalo, New York and it’s only a two-hour ride from where I live which is definitely huge,” he said.

“I visited Toronto about a week ago and I really enjoyed it. To me it was a cleaner version of New York City.

“We’ve got great players, they’re usually stand out human beings, everyone’s together, they all play really hard, you have no prima donnas and there aren’t any people who are just in it for themselves.”

The Wolfpack will start life in Championship 1 but Knox thinks there is a good chance they could be gracing Super League in 2019.

“I know that if everybody on that team who does make it gives it everything they have I don’t think that’s going to be out of the question,” he said.

“I think in two years’ time it could happen for sure.”

Although a newcomer to the sport, Knox believes rugby league can grow and prosper by targeting NFL fans.

“It’s something that as American Football loses a little bit of a fan base I feel that Rugby League can gain that,” he said.

“In American Football between the officials and issues off the field they’re losing a crowd of people and I really believe that Rugby League can be something that swoops that fan base up.

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