By Darryl G. Smart
Greg Wise and Chuck Curran are one step closer to earning professional rugby contracts.
This weekend, the pair, who make the Norfolk Harvesters Rugby Football Club their home, have cracked the 20-man roster for the Toronto Wolfpack’s game against Washington’s DC Cavalry.
“This is the final game to earn the contract for next season,” Curran said.
The Wolfpack will play in the North American Rugby League (NARL) next season.
The Wolfpack originally competed in the British rugby league system’s top-tier, the Super League, and were the first team in North America to ever do so. But after the COVID-19 pandemic left the team in financial trouble, new ownership took over and the team now competes in North America. They are in the NARL Eastern Conference, along with the Atlanta Rhinos, Brooklyn Kings, Boston Thirteens, Cleveland RL, New York Freedom, DC Cavalry, and Ottawa Aces. The Western Conference features the Austin Armadillos, Las Vegas Blackjacks, Phoenix Venom, Portland Loggers, San Diego Swell, and San Francisco Rush.
“The selection process has been tough, which is a credit to the players. It’s difficult to view all players equally, and it’s a tough vetting process to work through” Wolfpack head coach Matt Wyles said. “With the practices, trial games and tools we had, and the people we spoke to, we feel we have done the best possible job and have selected the strongest squad. The team is representative of the type of players that we want.”
Wyles and his coaching staff initially planned to announce a final 25-man squad but decided to name an initial 20-man squad and use the remaining practices and roster spots to challenge players in the Train-On squad to see who wants to rise to the occasion and grab one of the remaining five spots.
Saturday’s game against DC Cavalry is at Lamport Stadium. Game time is 7:30pm and tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children under 16, including a $5 booking fee. CLICK HERE to order your tickets.