A pioneering transatlantic rugby team is looking to cause a cup competition upset thanks its sporting and academic partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.

Toronto Wolfpack - who use the University's Platt Lane Sports Complex facilities as their UK base -hope to continue their impressive start to the season on Sunday by knocking out higher ranked Warrington Wolves of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup to reach the last eight.

Confidence is brimming as the Canada-based franchise currently sits top of Betfred Championship, the sport's second tier, after 13 games.

They are aiming for a second successive promotion, having won the Kingstone Press League 1 last season.

Besides using Platt Lane as its UK base, meaning the squad and staff enjoy access to world class indoor and outdoor training facilities and innovation, the club's coaches provide support for the University's student rugby league side.

A recently launched Toronto Wolfpack player development system will nurture aspiring rugby league talent on both sides of the Atlantic with the chance to fight for a place in the University’s rugby league team.

Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “We wish the Toronto Wolfpack the best of luck for the game against Warrington Wolves. The club’s continued success on and off the field is testament to the strong partnership working between the club and the University that provides them with a UK base at our Platt Lane facilities, plus many sporting and academic opportunities.

“The University’s partnership with Toronto Wolfpack is just one of a growing number of our connections with the sporting world and, in particular, rugby league. Our Business School is providing a bespoke leadership development programme to the management team of the sport’s governing body, the Rugby Football League (RFL), a course that is based on our Master of Sport Directorship. There will be an opportunity for even closer working when the RFL relocates to the Etihad Campus next to the University’s proposed Institute of Sport.”

Sunday's sixth round tie against Warrington Wolves will be shown live on BBC Two and if the Wolfpack advances they will be in the quarter final draw.

Thursday, 10th May 2018