With aiding the development of young stars of the game a key aim for Toronto Wolfpack, the club has announced that North American pair Quinn Ngawati and Ryan Burroughs will join League 1 side London Skolars for the remainder of the 2018 season.
A real highlight of the Wolfpack’s emergence to date has been the rise of this promising duo, who worked their way up from relative obscurity in 2017 to become a vital part of the Wolfpack’s future plans. Ngawati and Burroughs have now been presented with the opportunity for regular first team action with the Skolars, in a highly demanding League 1 competition.
This is a significant move for player and club alike, which gives two of the Wolfpack players flying the flag for rugby league in North America the ideal environment in which to develop. Toronto Wolfpack Head Coach Paul Rowley will monitor the pair closely throughout the season. He said:
“This is a great opportunity for these boys. The opportunity to move down a level to play some regular rugby is often a natural step in progressing many young players’ careers and it’ll be no different with these two.
“Our thanks have to go to the (London) Skolars and their coaching set up. Their ability to look after and nurture young talent on and off the field is second to none and we are exciting to see how the pair progress. We thoroughly expect them to become stars for the Wolfpack for seasons to come.”
The offer of the two players to London Skolars reaffirms Toronto Wolfpack’s commitment to supporting the development of rugby league in London, among other global expansion areas. This broader strategy also includes the Wolfpack hosting Halifax RLFC in the Betfred Championship at the Skolar’s New River Stadium on Saturday 28th April.
Teenager Ngawati’s journey to professional rugby league is one of unique origin. Originally from Victoria in British Colombia, he made the decision to travel to Vancouver prior to the 2017 season to take part in one of a number of trials held by the Wolfpack to prove himself on the big stage.
After a successful trial, he was the first Canadian to sign with Toronto and made his senior debut at only 18 years of age, coming on as a substitute in Round 14 of League 1 against Gloucester All Golds in front of an adoring Lamport Stadium crowd. He finished the 2017 season with two first team appearances.
Burroughs, although taking a different route to prominence at Toronto, is also an impressive story. Having taken a punt and moved from his native Virginia to the other side of the world in Australia, Burroughs played for Parramatta Eels feeder team Wentworthville for a season in 2016, impressing enough to attract the attention of the Wolfpack. He signed before the 2017 season and has made an impressive eleven appearances to date.
Having played for USA in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in the off season, injury has hampered Burroughs’ preparation for 2018. Consequently the move to London comes at an ideal time for the powerful winger who is looking to get back up and beyond the standards he set last year.
After five tough rounds of an intense Championship competition, both players are yet to feature for the Wolfpack. In making the switch to the Skolars, who are one of the most promising sides in the League 1 competition, both can be confident of becoming first team regulars.
With a largely youthful squad themselves, Ngawati and Burroughs will fit in perfectly with the Skolars’ ethos in developing young talent as well as being exposed to the rigours of weekly professional rugby, something they will benefit hugely from.
This agreement will see the players link up with his new teammates as early as next week and the Wolfpack are excited to see their men add real energy and excitement to the League 1 competition.
Skolars Head Coach Jermaine Coleman was ecstatic to bring in two hugely promising players, confident the move would add a lot to both his side and to the players themselves. He said:
“Quinn and Ryan are a magnificent addition to our playing roster and are two of the most coveted players of their respective age. As a club who take real pride in providing opportunities for high quality young talent, their addition reinforces that mantra. They will bring a real energy to the group as well as extending their own learning amongst our senior players and coaching group.
“We have to thank the Wolfpack for their support in allowing Quinn and Ryan to join the Skolars project; they have been exemplary in our dealings with them. I’m confident our fans will enjoy their all action style and will welcome some of North America’s brightest ever prospects into the Skolars family.”