Toronto better off for missing Super League the first time

James Gordon

Toronto director of rugby Brian Noble says their Million Pound Game defeat to London Broncos in 2018 may have been a blessing.

The Wolfpack secured promotion to Super League at the second time of asking by beating Featherstone in the Championship Grand Final at the end of last season, having been upset by the Broncos at Lamport Stadium 12 months previous.

That meant they had to go round again in the second tier before earning their jump to the top flight, the sure fire aim of the franchise when they joined League One in 2017.

Noble said: “In hindsight it was a good thing – we treated it as a good thing, we were positive about it and it enabled us to understand the dynamics of the terrific division that is the Championship.

“I think we’d have competed in Super League had we gone up, but would we have been as ready as we are now?

“We had the facility to step back and look back at what went wrong. Our philosophy was to build a squad that can survive in the top division this year – we believe in that squad and we think we’re ready.”



Toronto have swooped for Sonny Bill Williams, the biggest signing of the off-season, though will start the season under a cloud of salary cap protests, with coach Brian McDermott pushing for a dispensation.

McDermott is also a vocal critic of relegation, which the Wolfpack find themselves under pressure to avoid in their first season in the competition – unlike Catalans back in 2006, who were exempt.