New York consortium wants to follow rugby league footsteps of Toronto Wolfpack | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Partly Cloudy

New York consortium wants to follow rugby league footsteps of Toronto Wolfpack

October 16, 2017 - 5:26 PM

Following the footsteps of the Toronto Wolfpack, a consortium has announced plans for a rugby league team in the New York area.

Tom Scott and Ricky Wilby, speaking for the group, hope to become rugby's second transatlantic team with the goal of entering England's second-tier Championship in 2019. The plan is to play in Red Bull Arena in suburban Harrison, N.J., they told a briefing in England.

"They seem to have a pretty good bid," said Wolfpack president Eric Perez, who has done some consulting for the New York group. "So hopefully it goes through."

Perez, who has been working on facilitating expansion on several fronts, expects more North American teams to follow, including other Canadian franchises.

"By 2020 there could be five North American teams — three Canadian, two American — easily, from what I've seen going on," he said.

The three Canadian franchises would include Toronto.

Hamilton, Montreal, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia are seen as possible expansion sites.

Part of the Wolfpack ownership group, Perez said he may also take an ownership position in a second Canadian team, which he says is legal as long as you are not the majority shareholder.

Toronto entered the third tier of English rugby league this year, winning promotion to the Championship after topping the Kingstone Press League 1. A fully professional side, the Wolfpack went 20-1-1 against semi-pro opposition.

They will face a stiffer challenge in the Championship next season.

Perez said a possible change in the league structure could lead to new teams entering in the second tier.

"There's a lot of different things being thrown around," he said in an interview.

Perez is happy to share his expertise when it comes to bring rugby league to North America.

"If I can help get expansion going I will because that is the only way we will be successful. I don't think one team is enough. I think you have to have multiple teams to really be able to take advantage of really getting into the market and getting the most out of the market and extract the most from this market over to the U.K., which is what they want.

"We'll see where it takes me, but as of now things are going great."

Canada and the U.S. are set to host the Rugby League World Cup in 2025.


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile