The date was October 2019 and just after Toronto Wolfpack’s Million Pound Game win against Featherstone Rovers saw the Canadian side qualify for a place in Super League.
For then Toronto boss Brian McDermott, the Wolfpack were a bright star for the future, with the ex-Leeds head coach complaining that Super League needed bigger city teams rather than small town ones.
In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, the former Leeds and London boss said Super League need to look past the small northern town sides, such as St Helens and Castleford, and focus more on the cities with a huge sporting culture: “Toronto’s a mega sporting city. You’ve got the Raptors, the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jays, Toronto FC, the Argonauts and we’re part of that.
“We hope to have a higher profile now we’re on a bigger stage.
“Super League needs to be able to sell a final to some potential investors or a TV deal which says ‘it’s going to be competed for by big city teams’.
“Because in five years time if the Super League or Challenge Cup Final is still competed by some small towns from the North of England, while it’s a brilliant story, where we’re going to sell that to is the interesting point.
“So if in five years we’re sat around a table with the TV deals and mega sponsors and we’re saying ‘look, one of our teams starts with Toronto, and the name of the other team starts with London or Barcelona or New York’ – that’s how the growth of the game goes.
“I know there’s a few people opposed to us being in the competition but we can’t please everybody.”
However, those comments are set to bite him on the backside with McDermott reportedly linked with the vacant Featherstone Rovers job – ironically, a small northern town.