Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wolfpack Wingers Liam Kay, Jonny Pownall Making Their Mark in Toronto

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Wolfpack Wingers Liam Kay, Jonny Pownall Making Their Mark in Toronto

Article excerpt

Wolfpack wingers making their mark in Toronto


TORONTO - When the Toronto Wolfpack braintrust sat down to build a rugby league team from scratch, director of rugby Brian Noble wondered why coach Paul Rowley made wingers Liam Kay and Jonny Pownall a priority.

Thirty-two tries later, the answer is much clearer.

"He's quite astute, Paul," said Noble, a former Britain international player and coach. "Bearing in mind myself and Paul had the blank piece of paper 18 months ago, they were two of the first people he signed.

"Being the old crusty front-row (forward) that I am and (big on) grind and engine and things like that, I'm thinking 'What are you signing wingers for?' Well I completely understand (now) with the way we play football. Wingers are going to touch the ball a lot on this team. We're expansive, we're entertaining and boy, you're right, they can both finish."

Kay had five tries in last Saturday's 64-22 win over the York City Knights to up his season total to 17, tops in the Kingstone Press League One. Pownall scored twice to raise his total to 15, tied for third.

Toronto (13-0-0) hosts the 11th-place University of Gloucestershire All Golds (6-7-0) on Saturday at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack, rugby's first transatlantic team, have started life in the third tier of English rugby league with an eye to winning promotion first to the Championship and then to the elite Super League.

A fully professional side facing semi-pro opposition, they have had their way so far -- averaging 60 points a game. The English wing duo have helped keep the scoreboard turning over.

"We're very very lucky to have these players," said Rowley, who can also call upon American winger Ryan Burroughs.

Kay and Pownall, both 25, were teammates previously at the Leigh Centurions, a team Rowley used to coach.

Kay is easy to spot. He's the taller of the two with a ponytail. Pownall has shorter hair and more tattoos. Both can motor and know what to do when near the goal-line.

Best of mates off the field, the two wingers are fun-loving with a mischievous streak. On a recent YouTube video, they had no problem identifying teammates on a variety of topics ranging from the Wolfpack's cheapest player to the one who spends the most time on Tinder. …

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