Noble: Toronto have been nothing but positive for the game

Toronto director of rugby Brian Noble has shrugged off criticism of the Wolfpack saying they’ve been nothing but positive for the game.

The Canadian side start their second season in the Championship with a televised trip to York City Knights, having suffered heartbreak in the Million Pound Game in their last outing.

They have secured new investment, enjoyed league-high crowds last campaign and recruited strongly with six new faces, all with Super League or NRL experience.

As well as that, Toronto have enabled significant TV exposure for the Championship, with all of their home and away games to be broadcast live on Sky.

Noble said: “I don’t know (why there’s a growing discontent towards Toronto). That’s something that others have to articulate, but we deal with facts, and the facts will show that we’ve been nothing but positive for the game.

“We’re thrilled to have 26 games on national television. It’s exciting times and I think there’s been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to ensure that it happens.

“We’re really chuffed with the fact that we’ll be shown every week, home and away.

“We feel that North America has fabulous potential. We’ve made some mistakes along the way, but on the whole, everything that we’ve done has been largely positive.

“We think that the Championship is a wonderful competition. We’ve earned our stripes in relation to climbing the league ladder, but everything that we have tried to do along the way is tinged by an element of positivity.

“Canadians love the game and Americans love the game, so why not tell people that?

“We’ve got six new players in ranks, all of which we feel are going to make a huge impact. We’re pretty confident that they’ll do a job.”

The six includes Super League winner and former England international Jon Wilkin, ex-Widnes duo Joe Mellor and Tom Olbison, Kiwi Bodene Thompson, prop Gadwin Springer and centre Ricky Leutele, who moves from Cronulla.

Toronto will effectively start with 11 away games – playing their three scheduled home games on the road in the UK, including Widnes at Kingston Park in Newcastle on February 16.

They end the campaign with four successive home games in August and September.

Toronto 19-man squad v York: O’Brien, Russell, Stanley, Leutele, Mellor, McCrone, Sidlow, Sims, Dixon, Thompson, Wilkin, Ackers, Lussick, Olbison, Wallace, Springer, Wheeler, Higson, Emmitt.

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