Toronto Wolfpack sign six

James Gordon

Toronto Wolfpack have made a bold statement ahead of the 2019 Championship season with the signing of six top flight players.

Headlined by NRL centre Ricky Leutele, who joins from Cronulla, and former St Helens captain Jon Wilkin, they are the first new signings announced since the Wolfpack missed out on promotion to Super League by losing the Million Pound Game to London Broncos.

Joining them are Widnes pair Joe Mellor and Tom Olbison, Warrington back-rower Bodene Thompson and Castleford’s Gadwin Springer.

In a statement, the club said: “All six players offer something different to the Toronto squad but, vitally, add significant quality in key areas. They will bring big game experience as well as a good balance to the playing group as the club looks to mount another promotion charge in 2019.”

Wilkin has made more than 400 Super League appearances and departs St Helens after 16 years.

Wigan academy product Mellor has spent the best part of eight years with the Vikings as a stand-out performer, while ex-Bradford back-rower Olbison makes the switch after two years at the Halton Stadium.

Springer was linked with a move to Toronto earlier in the season and ends his four-year stay at Castleford, and Thompson played in the Super League Grand Final for Warrington having joined them from Leigh ahead of the transfer deadline.