Toronto Wolfpack and Bradford Bulls are delighted to announce plans for a Transatlantic Challenge to be played across the 2018 and 2019 pre-season periods. The exciting new concept sees the teams take part in a game in the UK followed by a game in North America, and is bound to enthrall fans on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Transatlantic Challenge pits four time Super League Champions the Bradford Bulls against the Toronto Wolfpack. The Wolfpack are the world’s first transatlantic major professional sports team and lifted the 2017 Kingstone Press League 1 title in a stunning inaugural season.
The Challenge kicks off with a first leg on Friday 26th January 2018 with the Provident Stadium playing host. The historic venue in Odsal, Bradford, held it’s first game in 1934 and also holds the record for attendance at a British Rugby match of over 100,000 in 1954. The teams will compete for the Transatlantic Trophy UK, a game set to form an integral part of each team’s preparations for the 2018 League Season.
Toronto Wolfpack Director of Rugby Brian Noble, whose decorated career includes both playing and coaching at Bradford, commented:
“I am hugely excited about this fixture and a return to Odsal for myself. This will be the Wolfpack’s only pre season game and one in which we will be giving our entire first team squad a run out to face the Challenge of the Bulls.
“I have been greatly impressed by the recruitment strategy of the Bulls. I am sure their new squad will present a huge test for our boys in front of what I expect will be a significant and noisy local crowd.”
The second leg of the challenge will serve as a pre-season match for 2019. The game is likely to be played in the United States in January 2019, giving an important outreach into one of Rugby Leagues key expansion areas. Further details on the fixture will be released in due course.
The Challenge forms just one part of a new strategic alliance between the Bradford Bulls and Toronto Wolfpack. Moving forwards the two clubs will look to form a dynamic partnership based around sharing expertise, knowledge and resources.
“The Canadian fans will have heard about the history of this great club, and it will be a huge honour for us as a newcomer to the British league to meet them in this innovative competition,” added Noble.
“I’m also very confident the Bulls fans will be excited about an emerging strong partnership with the Wolfpack.”