North American league “will rival Super League for quality” in near future

Ottawa Aces founder Eric Perez says it is only a matter of time before the North American Rugby League will rival Super League for quality.

Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa Aces will take part in a new North American professional rugby league competition that has been launched.

The NARL will be a 14-team competition that will play its first round of games on the weekend of June 19 in Brooklyn and June 20 in Las Vegas.

Ottawa founder Eric Perez, who was forced to postpone the club’s entry into League 1 in 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic, says the intention is for the club to play in both competitions in 2022.

“This is the dawn of a new era for professional rugby league, not just in Canada but across the North American continent,” Perez said.

“The rugby league revolution is just beginning here and we very much look forward to being part of what will surely be a transformative period for the greatest game of all.

“Make no mistake, it’s only a matter of time before the NARL will rival Super League for quality.”

The Aces have appointed as their head coach former Catalans Dragons boss Laurent Frayssinous, who has since also been appointed as national coach of France ahead of the 2021 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Toronto, formed in 2016, worked their way up to Super League through the lower leagues but withdrew from the competition at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and were refused readmission for 2021.

The Canadian club are now back and under the control of a new private investor group, who bought the intellectual property assets.

The club say there are no ties to the previous ownership, which left huge debts, and former Toronto head coach Brian McDermott has no involvement.

A statement by the club said: “While we will not erase any of the fantastic, historic and positive achievements of Wolfpack, Team Wolfpack promises that together we will make new great memories on our journey together.”

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