Toronto Wolfpack players make Twitter plea after third month without pay

James Gordon

11th March 2020, John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, England; Coral Challenge Cup Round 5, Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants : Brian McDermott Head Coach of Toronto Wolfpack offers advice to Darcy Lussick

A number of Toronto Wolfpack players have made a plea to the RFL for support after going a third month without pay.

The future of the Canadian club remains uncertain following their withdrawal from Super League for the remainder of 2020, with reports over the weekend that four parties are interested in taking over the club from David Argyle.

But their players, still under contract for 2020 and beyond, have been left without pay.

Darcy Lussick tweeted: “The RFL, when are you going to step in and help the welfare of the players who are contracted to your competition?”

“Technically stranded in UK. No Visa, so I can’t work, no help getting home to Australia as promised and about to be evicted from my house.

“A lot of people have it a lot worse then me, but this situation has gone too far now.

“Three months with no pay for the players, staff and families of the Toronto Wolfpack.”

Ricky Leutele was placed in a similar situation to Lussick, with his young family kicked out of their accommodation that was paid for by the Wolfpack recently, before he managed to secure a move back to the NRL with Melbourne Storm.

Big-earning back-rower Sonny Bill Williams has also secured a deal in Australia with Sydney Roosters, though he remains on contract with the Wolfpack to return in 2021 on his reported $5m annual salary.

Joe Mellor, Gadwin Springer and Matty Russell were among the Wolfpack players to share similar Twitter posts asking for the RFL to support the “forgotten” players, staff and families of the club, with the hashtag “mentalhealth”.

The message was also shared by full-back Gareth O’Brien, who joined Castleford on loan on Monday.

It is understood that the RFL have been providing financial support of £1,000 per player following the Wolfpack’s dramatic withdrawal from Super League.