Former Championship player reveals Toronto Wolfpack away game ‘was like a stag do’

Toronto Wolfpack spent two of their three and half years in British rugby league playing in the Championship.

As a result all the teams in the second tier got the chance to travel over to Canada for a unique fixture, with many of the clubs in the part-time and made up of part-time players.

This meant a bunch of working lads heading over to one of the world’s most famous cities for an all-expenses paid trip, as well as a game of rugby league against the dominant Wolfpack.

Toronto were almost unbeatable in their own backyard as they went all out for Super League and speaking on the Trot The Egg In podcast, former Dewsbury Rams player Dom Speakman likened the trip to a ‘stag do’.

“We went over to Toronto once with 16 lads because a few had criminal records and a few couldn’t get the time off work,” he recalled. “We went over with 16 and we had Neil Kelly (as coach) and he just said ‘do you know what lads, do what you want’.

“So we had a few beers on the plane there, we ended up in a nightclub the night before the game. We gave Toronto a good game but we were chipping over the top on the third tackle and it was a laugh.

“It was a stag do basically without a wedding,” Speakman explained. “You couldn’t believe you were getting paid to do it really.

“The coach just said ‘have a dig today lads’ and you thought ‘do you know what, go on then, we will do’.”

During the period Toronto played in the British rugby league system they provided payment and expenses for all clubs to travel over and also attracted some big names, with current England international Andy Ackers among a star-studded Championship squad.

The Wolfpack gained promotion to Super League in 2019 but after the pandemic hit the following year, they fell into financial problems and withdrew from the league that season to return to the North American divisions.

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