Prop Brad Singleton latest player to leave financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack

Veteran prop Brad Singleton is the latest Toronto Wolfpack player to move on.

The Irish international has signed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors, joining Toronto teammates Kallum Watkins and Blake Wallace in leaving the financially troubled Wolfpack for good.

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The transatlantic rugby league team has been in limbo since announcing July 20 that it could not afford to play out the remainder of the Super League season.

"Things didn't go as planned with Toronto so there was a case where I needed to look for another club and with Wigan interested, I was ready to sign," Singleton said in a statement Thursday.

"I’ve been around Super League for a quite a long time now and I've always envied the way this camp played rugby. They've got massive history and the badge weighs more with responsibility. There are performances expected from a certain type of Wigan player and I hope I can do that justice."

The Wolfpack are waiting to hear from rugby league authorities whether they can return to Super League under new ownership next season.

Toronto signed the 27-year-old Singleton last November in advance of its debut season in Super League. The hard-nosed prop ranked second in the league in tackles with 154 when he ruptured his lateral medial ligament in a March 12 game at Warrington.

Singleton was part of the 2015 Leeds team under Wolfpack coach Brian McDermott that won the League Leaders Shield, Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup. He also won the Super League Grand Final in 2017 with McDermott as coach.

The six-foot-two, 218-pounder signed with Leeds in 2009 and worked his way up the ranks, making his pro debut in 2011. He has more than 200 career games under his belt and, in 2018, was given the No. 10 shirt made famous by Leeds icons Barrie McDermott and Jamie Peacock.

Singleton played for the England Academy and England Schools under-16 side as well as the England Knights before switching allegiance to Ireland in 2017.

"It’s fair to say that Brad has been on our radar for many years," Wigan Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski said. "We have long admired his uncompromising style and have always felt that he was a Wigan style of forward.

"The opportunity presented itself due to the unfortunate circumstances at Toronto."

Watkins, who joined the Wolfpack in May but never got to play because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is slated to make his debut for Salford on Friday. He has signed a three-year deal with the Red Devils.

Wallace is signed through the 2021 season with Leigh Centurions.

Wolfpack players who have joined other teams on short-term loans for the remainder of the season include former All Black Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters), Australian-born Samoan international Ricky Leutele (Melbourne Storm), Bodene Thompson (Leeds Rhinos) and Gareth O'Brien (Castleford Tigers).

The Wolfpack players have not been paid since June 10.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2020.

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