Toronto will not play in 2019 Challenge Cup, Rimmer confirms

Toronto will not participate in the 2019 Challenge Cup, it has been confirmed by the RFL.

The Wolfpack had hoped for inclusion following the recent compromise between the governing body and Catalans, which ensured the Dragons’ participation.

Previously the pair, as well as Toulouse, had been asked for a bond to participate, which would have been payable had they reached the final if a certain number of ticket sales wasn’t reached.

However, despite Toronto still having hopes that a discussion could be had to include them in the competition this season, chief executive Ralph Rimmer has ruled it out.

When asked if there was a chance they could enter, he said: “No. It’s really straight forward. They know what the situation is and there’s been no further discussions.

“I like David (Argyle) a lot, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, but they won’t be in the Challenge Cup this year.

“All the structures have been worked out for the cup and they’re aware of that.”

The newly sponsored Coral Challenge Cup gets underway this weekend with the first round.

While there had been worries about the Dragons participation, they had been included in the structure from the off unlike the Wolfpack.

Catalans had baulked at having to pay the bond, and sources conceded that there had been communication issues over the situation.

But that has now been clarified and the RFL announced earlier this week that they will defend their trophy after an undisclosed compromise was reached.

Rimmer added: “The details of the compromise are commercially sensitive, but Bernard (Guasch) has been really good so we’re delighted they’re going to be in it.

“It was a tense situation but I give credit to them. I don’t think it was a PR disaster; we launched the cup yesterday, we’ve got a new sponsor and the reigning champions are included.

“We start on Sunday with Millom v Red Star Belgrade, a game I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

“We have some great competitions to promote and I’ll be at Millom on Sunday.”