RFL confirm position on Toronto home games in Challenge Cup and The Qualifiers

James Gordon

Toronto are preparing for their historic Challenge Cup clash with Warrington this weekend – but will have to wait at least another season before taking the famous competition to Canada.

As part of the terms of them entering the Challenge Cup, it was agreed that they would play all games on the road in the first three seasons, taking them up to the end of the 2019 season.

That means it will be 2020 before the Wolfpack can host a game in Canada

They were drawn out of the hat first for the sixth round clash against the Wolves, but are having to hold it at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, where Canadian passport holders are being given free entry.

An RFL spokesman said: “The agreement states that for 2017, 2018 and 2019 they are able to play in Challenge Cup but must be away from home. According to the agreement, from 2020, should they play in the Challenge Cup, they could play at home but must cover the costs if they do so.”

A man who has had foot in both camps, Ashton Sims, returns to his old stomping ground on Sunday for the game which is being televised live by BBC (3.30pm kick-off).

He said: “It would be huge for the country, but also the sport in Canada.

“I think just this game instead is being broadcasted live in Canada and there’s a lot of buzz over there playing one of the Super League heavyweights, it will be a good game to see where we are as a team and a club.

“We had our first training session on Wednesday since coming back from Canada and the lads are looking forward to a big game.”

Toronto will face further Super League opposition in The Qualifiers later this year, should they as expected make it, and the RFL have confirmed that there will be no special dispensation for the Wolfpack in terms of the arranging of fixtures.

In the league campaign so far, they have played almost all of their away games, before returning to Toronto from the start of next month to play eight consecutive home games at Lamport Stadium.

An RFL spokesman added: “Should Toronto reach the Qualifiers, they won’t be playing in blocks of 3 home 4 away etc as they have done throughout the regular season – they would be scheduled as normal.”

Last season in the League One Super 8s, the Wolfpack played three games away – which included a defeat at York and a draw at Keighley – before playing four consecutive home games to round off the campaign which saw them crowned champions.