Watkins joins Toronto Wolfpack on three-year deal

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Former England international Kallum Watkins has signed a three-year deal with Toronto Wolfpack.

Watkins was released by Gold Coast Titans last month, returning to the United Kingdom from Australia after his dad contracted coronavirus.

The former Leeds Rhinos captain has accepted “significantly reduced pay terms” for this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto said in announcing the signing.

“First of all I would like to thank the Gold Coast Titans for granting me and my family the opportunity to go back home, I had a great time over there. To the owners, coaches, players, staff and the fans at the Titans, I wish them all the success in the world. I know they will turn things around at the club,” Watkins said.

“I came back for family reasons. There has been a lot going on back home, and then when I heard about my dad I had to come back.

“I wanted to succeed in the NRL but I had to put my family first, and now I’m excited to be back playing in the Super League.”

Brian McDermott coached Watkins at Leeds between 2011 and 2018 and the Toronto boss is glad to be working with the 29-year-old again.

“To add someone of the quality of Kallum Watkins to our squad during the league suspension is a positive move. I know first hand what Kallum can do and we are thrilled he will be joining us on-field once play resumes,” he said.

“This is a testing time for sports teams all over the world, and we are no different.

“We are grateful that Kallum has shown commitment to our cause by agreeing to our revised pay model alongside his team-mates, and in line with many other players across our league.”

The Super League season was suspended in March, with Toronto having lost their opening six games.