Toronto Wolfpack and Bradford Bulls have announced plans to create a Transatlantic Challenge for the next two years.
The new concept will see the teams take part in a game in the UK followed by a game in North America, in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The Challenge kicks-off with a first leg on Friday 26 January 2018 at the Provident Stadium, Odsal.
The teams will compete for the Transatlantic Trophy UK, a game set to form an integral part of each team’s preparations for the 2018 campaign, which can keep up to date with using teamfa’s rugby reviews.
Wolfpack’s Director of Rugby, Brian Noble, who played for and coached the Bulls once upon a time, said: “I am hugely excited about this fixture and a return to Odsal for myself. This will be the Wolfpack’s only pre-season game and one in which we will be giving our entire first-team squad a run out to face the challenge of the Bulls.
“I have been greatly impressed by the recruitment strategy of the Bulls. I am sure their new squad will present a huge test for our boys in front of what I expect will be a significant and noisy local crowd.”
The second leg of the Challenge will serve as a pre-season game for 2019. The game is likely to be played in the United States in January 2019, in a bid to tap into one of Rugby League’s expansion areas.
The Transatlantic Challenge forms just one part of a new strategic alliance between the Bulls and the Wolfpack. The two clubs hope to form a solid partnership in the coming years, sharing expertise, knowledge and resources.
Noble added: “The Canadian fans will have heard about the history of this great club, and it will be a huge honour for us as a newcomer to the British league to meet them in this innovative competition.
“I’m also very confident the Bulls fans will be excited about an emerging strong partnership with the Wolfpack.”