McDermott outlines Toronto recruitment struggles

Toronto coach Brian McDermott has admitted the club are finding it difficult to attract players to the club because they are forced to pay “overs”.

The newly promoted Wolfpack currently have the competition’s smallest squad, with just 23 players on their roster.

And McDermott insists that is because they are close to filling their salary cap space, as they have to pay players more than other clubs would.

“We’re just on the cap at the moment and potentially (close to) breaching it so we’re working through some processes at the moment,” he said following Toronto’s friendly win over Castleford on Sunday. “It’s live so we’re not completely over the cap right now and by the start of the season we’ll be okay.

“We’ve got to pay overs for everyone to come and play at our club because they’ve got to run two homes.

“They’ve either got to run a home in Australia, New Zealand or the UK, then when they go to Toronto they’ve got to run a home there, so all players want to come but nobody wants to come for lower than their market price.

“So, for example, a bloke who’s on the market for £10 won’t come unless we pay £12 or £13. Now go times that by 15 players, and that’s being conservative, it’s more than that, it’s a fair chunk that’s not spent on players.

“So we find ourselves right at the limit of the salary cap right now, but we haven’t overspent.”

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There are 56 Canadians playing in MLR, according to Rugby Canada’s head coach. And MLR currently only has one Toronto franchise, as they expand to BC and Montreal they’ll be well over a 100 Canadian players very soon. That’s not even factoring their Sevens players; Vancouver holds a World Sevens tournament every year and their team is ranked #7 in the world. There is no shortage of rugby players in Canada. RFL salary cap rules give an exemption to RU players switching to RL. Their first year, they don’t fall under the salary cap, and in their second year they only count 50%. There’s easily hundreds of players in Canada sitting around waiting to get signed. You can’t tell me at least 5 of those guys aren’t capable of playing RL. Wolfpack is hurting themselves not signing a Canadian or three, both on and off the field. Brian McDermott keeps… Read more »