THE first ever transatlantic professional rugby club will set up its new ‘home’ at Brighouse Rangers for its away fixtures in 2017 .
Toronto Wolfpack Rugby League Club, who will be members of the Kingstone Press League 1 Championship in 2017, will use the club’s Russell Way facilities as its UK training base.
Wolfpack’s Toronto-based CEO Eric Perez said: ““Brighouse seemed like a natural fit for us, with their rich history in the game, world class training facility, and a club culture that resonated with us in regards to working with their local community and youth academies. We are keen to get started and are sure this agreement will only benefit both clubs in the short and long term.”
The Toronto Wolfpack was voted into the Rugby Football League in April and is under the guidance of coach Paul Rowley and director Brian Noble.
Brighouse Rangers secretary Clarke Bailey said: “Brighouse Rangers are one of the founding members of the Rugby Football League.
“We have a long history, and whilst respecting the tradition of our great sport, we always welcome change and are open to new ideas. We were approached by the Toronto Wolfpack with a request to use our sports complex at Russell Way and as a result, we spent time speaking with Eric Perez, Director of Rugby Brian Noble and their backroom team. Both myself and the Rangers chairman, Paul Sweeney, were impressed with the Wolfpack’s enthusiasm and professionalism.
“Brighouse Rangers have a strong presence in the local community and pride ourselves on our ‘open arms’ approach to all ages and abilities.
“The Wolfpack’s ethics of involving their own community in Toronto resonated with ourselves.
“Brighouse has one of the best amateur Rugby League facilities in the whole of England and is proud to be associated with the Toronto Wolfpack.
“All our staff, our players, and our supporters are looking forward to a successful partnership between our two clubs over the coming months and, hopefully, years.”
The Wolfpack will also be using the new MP Fit gymnasium in the St Pegs Mill complex, Thornhill Beck Lane which officially opens in December.
Brighouse Rangers will play a fixture against the Canadian team on December 17.
Chairman Paul Sweeney said: “The day is going to be a full family day for all our members and community of Brighouse with a meet and greet the Wolfpack.
“The meet and greet will be more than likely be before the match due to timing restraints.
“The community of Brighouse are more than welcome to pop down and support this fantastic event, we encourage people to bring your children down and register them for our teams that will be playing next year.
“Brighouse is going to be the most talked about amateur rugby league club in England and. a fantastic place to be for any youngsters wanting to learn the game, we have a full programme and infrastructure with very motivated coaches and back room staff right across the board. Your children could not be in safer hands,
“Brighouse Rangers are building fast and we want you and your children to be a part of this community based family club.
“I would like to thank all the players coaches and members of Brighouse Sports club for their full backing of this super exciting merger. Special thanks to Clarke Bailey for taking time out of his work schedule for the many meetings we have attended.”