Plans for rugby league tournament in Toronto next summer

11th March 2020, John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, England; Coral Challenge Cup Round 5, Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants : Chase Stanley of Toronto Wolfpack poses for a pictures with the fans following the win over Huddersfield Giants

Plans are in place for a short-form tournament to take place in Toronto during the summer of 2022, the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League has announced.

The CCCRL have announced a Western Cost Division, with Vancouver, Calgary and Reginia being the three cities competing in the Western Conference and the three destinations will feature a men’s and women’s competition.

The three West Coat cities were selected by the fans and CCCRL’s board of directors based on their population and market size, potential growth for community participation and current sport landscape. Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal form the East Coast division.

READ: Meet Monte Gaddis: The pioneer of Cleveland Rugby League

The CCCRL say a full 12-team league competition to start in 2023 (six men’s sides and six women’s sides), with plans underway for a short-form tournament to take place in Toronto next summer.

Sandy Domingos-Shipley, VP of Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League, said: “Today represents another step forward for all of us at CCCRL and our fans as we continue our efforts to grow and expand the game of rugby league across Canada.

“We are looking forward to developing a grass roots foundation and establish rugby league programs for both men and women in all the cities that make up our league to increase the visibility of the sport throughout Canada and North America.

“Vancouver already has a rich and successful history of rugby league, and we are extremely excited to compliment that and expand on what has already been created in that market.”

The CCCRL were formed by a group of directors and founded in 2020. They say its primary mission is to deliver professional rugby league in Canada and help grow the game.

Toronto Wolfpack entered the RFL pyramid in 2017 and worked their way up to Super League, but dropped out of the top flight last season and failed to gain re-admission into the league.

2 Comments

  1. A tournament should be an idea to consider for rugby going forward. There is some degree of interest shown in new places, such as when Catalans played in Barcelona, or Toronto staged matches and this could be an area to attempt to build from. Rather than trying to develop full-fledged teams or leagues in new places, which is difficult to do at a high level because of resources, distance from established teams, lack of local player base etc. There doesn’t seem to be much reasoning against amatuer or semi pro teams and leagues being developed in new places; those efforts can continue. But a short tournament which is moved around strategically could be a possibility.

    Imagine Toronto/Canada hosts a short tournament with a handful of games between, for example, some of the current top ranked Super League teams, possibly an NRL team or two, if there is money/a market to convince them, as well as novel teams developed for the tournament, such as reigniting the Toronto Wolfpack with a series of guest players, creating “all star” teams or teams linked to nations, such as a “celtic” team combining Irish, Scottish and Welsh players.

    • Local RL leagues already exist in the USA, Jamaica, Balkans (collectively and nationally), France, and several European states.

      Spain is a potential market for RL. I’ve already argued before that the Catalan-Valencian regions and Basque region should be targeted specifically instead of wasting resources in the dominant sections of society where there is less room for RL as a viable sport. RL should be woven into a part of people’s identities, that’s the best way to grow.

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