The Toronto Wolfpack will make Manchester their home away from home — by using Manchester Metropolitan University’s Platt Lane Sports Complex as their new UK training base. The state of the art facility was previously owned by Premier League giants Manchester City before being taken over by the University in 2014.
The move came earlier this month as the Wolfpack prepare to compete in the 2018 Kingstone Press Championship, following last season’s inaugural season title win and promotion from League 1.
As the world’s first transatlantic sports franchise, the Wolfpack play blocks of back-to-back away league matches during extended stays on British soil. This unique fixture arrangement is designed to minimise disruption and travel for the Pack and opponents from the UK and France.
Through a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University’s MMU Sport, the club will use Platt Lane Sports Complex in Fallowfield, south Manchester, as their full-time base between home games in Toronto.
Players and backroom staff will have access to not only the 3G pitch but also the strength and conditioning suite, physio room, video analysis equipment and lounge.
Toronto Wolfpack Director of Rugby, Brian Noble, said:
“Manchester Metropolitan’s first-class facilities are on a par with the best in the game and we’re excited to see what opportunities this partnership with bring for our players.
“As one of the finest universities in the UK, Manchester Met’s expertise, support and knowledge will be extremely valuable to us.
“There’s never been a better time for Toronto and Manchester to be collaborating – and as two pioneering organisations, I predict the year ahead to be very, very exciting.”
The partnership will bring a number of exciting prospects for the University, which is keen to strengthen its international reputation and use the partnership to highlight its world-class sporting facilities and innovation.
It includes a coaching agreement in which one of Toronto Wolfpack players will take on the role of coach for the University’s Rugby League first team.
Professor Richard Greene, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said:
“As a University we are known for our innovation in education and this partnership with Toronto Wolfpack – one of the most pioneering clubs in the world – will create all sorts of exciting opportunities, both sporting and academically.
“Manchester Metropolitan has a world-class brand and we envisage that the club’s potentially huge international fan-base will enable us to reach a much wider and diverse audience.”
Toronto Wolfpack Head Coach Paul Rowley was greeted by Jérôme Read, Performance Sport Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, on the Wolfpack’s first day at the facility (pictured above).