Ever since the fixtures were announced late last year this was the game everyone at the club was looking forward to, and now it has arrived.
The Golden Fern will fly across the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday to take on the unbeaten Toronto Wolfpack at the Lamport Stadium (9:30pm GMT, 4:30pm Canadian time, live on Premier Sports TV).
The challenge facing our young team is enormous. The Wolfpack have won every single game in League 1 so far, racking up some huge scores along the way. Despite being massive underdogs our head coach says he’s looking forward to what he calls ‘a game of a lifetime’. Speaking after training on Tuesday evening Lee Greenwood said: “We’re all really looking forward to the challenge. To get the chance to play in front of a big crowd in a great city like Toronto will be amazing. We’ve faced some very good sides this season but Toronto are obviously the best team in the division.
“Unfortunately we’ve lost a number of players in recent weeks so we’re going to be up against it. Injuries are part of the game though so we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve watched a fair bit of Toronto so we know what they can do. It’s important we concentrate on our game though and not worry too much about them.
“We’ve got a very young, inexperienced squad that have done very well so far this season. I’m sure the lads will want to do themselves proud on Saturday, if they can come off the pitch at full time having given their all then you can’t ask for more.”
Saturday’s defeat against Barrow has come at a cost with Courtney Davies being ruled out of the game in Toronto with an injury. Chris Barlow’s leg injury he sustained up in Cumbria isn’t as serious as first expected and he’s hopeful of starting the game on Saturday. Brad Hargreaves and Kadeem Williams won’t be making the trip owing to work commitments. With Ben Stead, Brad Kislingbury and Harry Kidd playing for England at the Student World Cup Greenwood’s selection options have been severely limited. On the plus side full back Alex Gaskell looks like travelling having missed three months out with a foot injury. Errol Carter and Sam Hodge have been called back from their loan deals with South Wales Ironmen and both could feature on Saturday.
Kick-off 9:30pm GMT
Live on Premier Sports TV
Lamport Stadium, Toronto