(Toronto) The ambition shown by the Toronto Wolfpack continues, as the left coasters sign a pair of Warrington Wolves backs; back rower James Laithwaite, and halfback Gary Wheeler both signing on to start the 2017 season. “We are very excited to add two experienced players to our ever growing squad,” Wolfpack CEO Eric Perez exclaimed. “Both Gary and James have been match winners at the highest level, and that’s the standard we want in our club.”
Laithwaite, 24, is a product of the Warrington academy system having played his amateur rugby for Crosfields. He made his first-team debut in 2013, and went on to make 50 appearances for his hometown club. His career has also seen him represent England Academy on the international scene. Laithwaite remarked: “Can’t wait to get started and begin the next chapter of my career with the Toronto Wolfpack. I’m looking forward to next year, and showing the people of Toronto, what a great sport we have on offer.”
Wheeler, 26, began his career in St Helens where he played 6 seasons including a 2011 Grand Final appearance and a Championship in 2014. He then joined the Wolves, making his debut in 2015, with 12 appearances having been hampered with injury. He represented England at all youth levels, and was selected for the England Knights as well.
Wheeler added: “It will be a new experience for me out there and a chance to get some good game time under my belt and start enjoying my rugby again. It will be a change and it will do me good. I am looking forward to the experience over there. I get on well with James and have got a few other mates going there as well which will make the trip a lot easier with leaving family at home.”