Toronto Wolfpack continue to add to their impressive playing roster with another significant signing in the form of Salford Red Devils fullback Gareth O’Brien. O’Brien has signed a deal to join the Canadian venture with immediate effect for an undisclosed fee only five games into the regular season and is set to be an extremely valuable asset to the Wolfpack squad.
The 26 year old comes with plenty of experience. Having already played over 100 Super League games in what is still a young career; O’Brien most recently played a pivotal role in the Red Devils’ ascendency to the upper echelons of Super League in 2017, with a number of eye-catching performances from fullback.
Originally a Warrington Wolves academy graduate, O’Brien was brought into Super League as a half back, as an understudy to Wire legend Lee Briers, but since then has made a seamless transition to the back and is now widely regarded as one of the most naturally talented ball playing fullbacks in Super League.
O’Brien’s ability to create space for the men outside him in the back line is second to none and his vision and pass selection will be an ideal addition to the arsenal at Paul Rowley’s disposal.
His ability to fill in a number of positions will also be invaluable to the balance of Toronto’s squad and his impressive goal kicking record is just another string to his bow, making him a terrific all round addition for the club.
He is a player that certainly isn’t lacking exposure on the big stage. After featuring prominently in the inaugural World Club Series in 2015 for Warrington, scoring a try against NRL side St George Illawarra Dragons, he struck a famous drop goal in extra time in the 2016 Million Pound Game to see Salford complete a miracle comeback to avoid relegation against Hull KR.
O’Brien’s ability to find the right play under pressure speaks for itself and Wolfpack fans can look forward to seeing him produce some more memorable moments in a Toronto shirt moving forward.
Wolfpack boss Rowley spoke of his delight in acquiring the services of such a high quality player, confident that O’Brien would bring a lot to the club both now and in the future. He said:
“An opportunity came up to bring in a quality fullback like Gareth and it was too good to miss.”
“It’s rare that a player of his ability becomes available and so, with one eye on succession planning and also the immediate, we have no hesitation in bringing Gareth to the club.
“The competition for places will continue to increase along with our efforts to progress further as the season unfolds.”
The fullback himself admitted his excitement at joining such a unique club in Toronto, and had no doubts it was the right move for him. O’Brien said:
“It was a decision that me, my partner Chloe and my family are really excited about.”
“The club has a lot of ambition and I’m hoping I can contribute to their success. I can’t wait to meet the boys and get started.”