SL offers Toronto support over visa fears

Ex-All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams' Toronto Wolfpack future could be at risk over visa issues

Super League has expressed its concern and offered its support to Toronto Wolfpack following a report that visa issues could mean the club are unable to complete the season.

Reports in the UK claim the Wolfpack's seven overseas players - including Sonny Bill Williams - have been on visas limiting them to six months a year in the United Kingdom, which has now expired.

Having been told by the UK Home Office it cannot deal directly with them, the club have been in regular dialogue with the Rugby Football League and Super League over the matter, the report said.

Wolfpack owner David Argyle was quoted as saying: "We've come to a crunch point now where it needs to be resolved."

A statement from Super League on Wednesday said: "Betfred Super League is obviously concerned by the news it received from Toronto Wolfpack yesterday. The timing is also unhelpful.

"We are looking into the details and have offered the club, and the RFL, our full support to resolve these issues ahead of the season restarting on August 2."

Argyle was quoted as saying in the report: "We have laid this out to Super League and the RFL today and it's an issue that we can't keep kicking down the road.

"It's always been a big issue for us and it hasn't been resolved, and if it isn't resolved now then I don't see any way we can participate in the rest of this season.

"It's been suggested to us that we could loan young players from other clubs, but we're not here to make up the numbers and we never have been. We didn't hire Brian McDermott as coach to do that.

"We also feel that it would be dangerous for us to fill our squad with other club's juniors, especially at a time when players might only have four days' rest between matches."

Argyle said the coronavirus pandemic had exacerbated a problem that had been going on for three years, and added: "I'm not blaming anybody - I can understand the bureaucratic position and we are only a very small issue for an organisation like the Home Office.

"But we've come to a crunch point now where it needs to be resolved."