The Toronto Wolfpack schedule for Super League is now out, and it has been confirmed that 11 of the 14 home games will be in Toronto. That means every Super League team will visit Toronto once at Lamport Stadium.
Raheem Bashir assesses the teams to watch in 2020, the Toronto Wolfpack’s chances and the potential impact of newly-announced star signing Sonny Bill Williams.
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) November 7, 2019
Super League schedule for Toronto Wolfpack
The Wolfpack’s home opener in Toronto will be against Hull FC on April 18th and the Wolfpack’s first ever Super League game will be at a neutral venue in Leeds as they take on the Castleford Tigers at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
It has been confirmed by Sky Sports Rugby League that the Wolfpack will play their first three home games of Super League in England. This is because the Wolfpack did not have much time to take their home games to Copenhagen or Amsterdam as they were just promoted last month.
The Wolfpack have faced six current Super League teams in their history including in exhibition, the Challenge Cup, and Super 8s Qualifiers games starting with Hull FC.
Teams and Games to Look Out For
Hull FC was the Wolfpack’s first ever opponent as a rugby league franchise. It was an exhibition game where the Wolfpack gave an excellent performance a top tier Super League team.
The Wolfpack gave a commendable effort but lost 26-20 against Hull FC.
🇨🇦 Throwback to where it all began for @TOwolfpack! We welcomed the Canadian outfit to the KCOM Stadium back in January 2017 for their first-ever fixture. 🤝
See you at the Lamport Stadium in April for your first home @SuperLeague game, folks! 👋
— Hull FC (@hullfcofficial) November 6, 2019
The Toronto Wolfpack’s first ever game will be against Hull FC on October 18th. The Wolfpack will visit Hull at KCOM Stadium on July 25th.
The Wolfpack also has history with the Salford Red Devils, who the Wolfpack faced twice in their brief four-year history.
Salford Red Devils
The Salford Red Devils is the only Super League team the Wolfpack have played twice. In 2017, after shocking the London Broncos, they faced the Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup. The Wolfpack gave a good fight to Salford, but ultimately fell short in a 27-22 loss at AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.
The Toronto Wolfpack played at AJ Bell Stadium again in the last Super 8s Qualifiers between Championship and Super League teams.The Wolfpack dug itself a hole as they were losing 28-0 in the first half before making the score respectable and losing 28-16 at full time.
The Wolfpack will play the Salford Red Devils on February 8th at Salford and then on July 11th at Toronto.
Another team with notable history with the Wolfpack is the Leeds Rhinos. Last year the Wolfpack had a notable win at Emerald Headingley Stadium in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
The Wolfpack’s most memorable win in their short three-year history was probably against Super League side Leeds Rhinos at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
It was a game where Leeds Rhinos legend Ryan Hall attended the game. He was leaving the Betfred Super League that year and was heading to Australia’s National Rugby League.
This game went back and forth with the Wolfpack winning of a dramatic drop-goal by Gareth O’Brien. The final score was a 16-17 Wolfpack victory at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
The Wolfpack will play the Rhinos two times, once on March 5th at Emerald Headingley Stadium and once on March 5th away at Emerald Headingley Stadium and once on August 2nd at home in Lamport Stadium.
Another team the Wolfpack faced in the Super 8s Qualifiers was against the Hull Kingston Rovers.
Hull Kingston Rovers
The Wolfpack lost a narrow game against the Hull Kingston Rovers in the Super 8s Qualifiers. It was a game the Wolfpack could have won and in hindsight could have avoided the Million Pound game against the London Broncos in 2018. The Wolfpack made a few handling errors in the game. This caused the Wolfpack to lose 22-28 to the Hull Kingston Rovers.
Also, according to TSN Nick Rawsthorne, who played a big part in Wolfpack’s promotion to Super League, has signed with the Hull Kingston Rovers on a two year contract.
The Wolfpack will face the Hull Kingston Rovers three times. The Wolfpack will play at Hull College Craven Park on March 15th and on August 16th and the Hull Kingston Rovers will be coming to Canada at Lamport Stadium on June 20th.
The Toronto Wolfpack played the Warrington Wolves in the 2018 Challenge Cup. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack there were not happy memories as they lost 10-66 to the Wolves.
The Wolfpack will play at Warrington in Halliwell Jones Stadium on February 21st.
The Wolves will then play in Toronto at Lamport Stadium on July 4th.
Lastly, all Super League teams will play in Magic Weekend at Newcastle in St. James Park from March 23rd including the Toronto Wolfpack.
Dacia Magic Weekend
The Wolfpack will also be involved in Magic Weekend as all 12 Super League teams play at Newcastle from May 23rd to May 24th. The Toronto Wolfpack will face the Huddersfield Giants on May 24th.
The Wolfpack will face the Giants two more times, once at Huddersfield in March 27th and one at Toronto on August 8th.
Sonny Bill Williams Offered $10 Million for Two Years
Many main media outlets like the Toronto Sun and Nine News Sydney have stated that Sonny Bill Williams signed a two-year deal worth approximately NZ$5 million each year. According to Nine News Sydney this is the biggest rugby league or union transaction that he has ever seen. According to the Toronto Sun, the deal includes having a minority stake of the Toronto Wolfpack.
💯 really looking forward to the challenge. God willing it’s fruitful for all. See you guys soon ❤️✊🏽 https://t.co/lKsmlZIJHg
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) November 7, 2019
Furthermore a quote from Fox Sports Australia revealed another possible incentive for Sonny Bill Williams signing with the Toronto Wolfpack.
David Argyle one of the founders of the Toronto Wolfpack said this:
“We are currently in discussions about making his first year – and the Wolfpack’s – in Super League into a documentary series.”
This could have also been an incentive for Sonny Bill Williams to sign with the Toronto Wolfpack.
There is also rumours of another pro rugby union star that could switch to rugby league. According to 1newsnow, the Toronto Wolfpack are targeting Manu Tuilagi of the English rugby union team. This source comes from the Daily Telegraph who also says that Kiwi-born English centre Ben Te’o is on the Wolfpack shortlist.
According to The Sun, the Wolfpack are after two more players. These players are Fiji star Semi Radradra and current Buffalo Bills player Christian Wade.
Toronto Wolfpack’s Expectation at Super League
The Toronto Wolfpack are expected to not get relegated this year. According to Serious About Rugby TV and Rugby League Back Chat are saying they will finish in the bottom or mid-tier table of the Super League season.
The Wolfpack had been given odds of 50/1 to win the Super League in their first season. However with the news that Sonny Bill Williams has signed, these have dropped to around 20/1.
The Wolfpack only must avoid finishing last in Super League in order to maintain their Super League license.
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images