Centre Greg Worthington, halfback Ryan Brierley leave Toronto Wolfpack
Toronto Wolfpack centre Greg Worthington throws a pass during practice at Lamport Stadium, in Toronto on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:04PM EST
TORONTO - Two Toronto Wolfpack players are moving on with halfback Ryan Brierley joining Hull Kingston Rovers permanently while centre Greg Worthington goes to Featherstone Rovers on loan.
The departures leave Toronto's roster at 22, well short of the 30 that coach Brian McDermott wants for the transatlantic rugby league team's first season in the top-tier Super League.
Worthington, who has been with the Wolfpack since its inaugural season in the third-tier League 1, is joining Featherstone on a nine-match loan.
The 29-year-old scored 56 tries in 103 appearances for Featherstone from 2011 to 2014.
“Obviously I spent a big chunk of my career at the club previously and it's always had place in my heart so to be able to come back here even if it is on loan is something that I am really looking forward to,” Worthington told the Featherstone website.
Worthington came to Toronto in 2017 after a stint at Leigh. He played 51 games over three seasons with the Wolfpack with a knee injury cutting his season short in 2018.
Brierley, a 27-year-old Scottish international, had two spells on loan with Leigh in 2019. In Toronto, he has fallen down the depth chart behind Josh McCrone, Joe Mellor and Blake Wallace.
Brierley first joined Leigh from Castleford Tigers in 2012, becoming the first Centurion to lead the club in try-scoring four straight seasons. He was named the Championship's Young Player of the Year in 2013 and '14.
He left Leigh for Huddersfield in March 2016 before joining the Wolfpack in April 2017.
Brierley, who has 186 tries in 201 club appearances, agreed to a one-year deal with Hull KR.
“Ryan has developed a lot more aspects to his game over the last few years,” head coach Tony Smith was quoted on the club website.
“By his own self-admittance he was known as a terrific support runner and scoring plenty of tries, but he has worked hard to do more. We are happy to develop those skills further and he is coming to a place where he feels he can develop his career further.”
Wolfpack additions this year are All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, James Cunningham and Brad Singleton.
Australian-born Fiji international Ashton Sims retired after last season while Bob Beswick (Newcastle Thunder) and Nick Rawsthorne (Hull Kingston Rovers) have switched clubs.
The Wolfpack, who have already opened their training camp in England, kick off their Super League season Feb. 2 against Castleford Tigers. The home opener is April 18 against Hull FC.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2019.