Title: Wolfpack throwing Quinn Ngawati, Rugby League’s first Canadian, into the lion’s den Saturday
Date: July 26, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Toronto Wolfpack 19-year-old Quinn Ngawati, the first Canadian to play professional Rugby League.
On a team full of players with an energy level — and sometimes behavior — that represents the team’s namesake well, the quiet and reserved often stands out on the Toronto Wolfpack. An unassuming nature is not the only thing that makes Quinn Ngawati unique, but he’s hoping to fit in this Saturday when he takes the pitch at Lamport Stadium.
Ngawati will be checking off a number of firsts when he does so. Most notably, he’ll be the first Canadian to start a Betfred Championship League game, almost exactly a year after he became the first Canadian to suit up in professional Rugby League at all. He’ll be doing it at just 19 years old, the youngest member of the Wolfpack and one of the youngest in professional Rugby League altogether. It will be a trial by fire of sorts, a big moment for Nwagati, Canadian rugby, the Wolfpack, and a very hungry and desperate Featherstone Rovers.
“I think we forget that sometimes, he’s still only 19. So there’s an element of welfare, as well. We don’t want to throw him to the lions,” head coach Paul Rowley says, before introducing Ngawati into the den. “This week’s do-or-die because he’s in against a really tough pack. Quinn is going to be in for a physical battle this week. There will be no quarter given, Featherstone will not take the foot off the throat if they see a weakness. huge test for Quinn this week. Huge test.”