MY annual birthday highlight as a kid was opening up the latest Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook – a fine body of work so lovingly and diligently compiled by the late Raymond Fletcher.

I told my teachers it increased my word power…..with one new one in particular sticking out; expunged.

It was used to describe the records of Pontypridd and then Carlisle City after they resigned from the league in the 1920s.

And now, for the first time, almost a century later, it will be applied to Super League following Toronto Wolfpack’s embarrassing withdrawal.

There is a heap of mitigation, but it is not a good look to lose such a high-profile piece of the top flight jigsaw.

That is particularly true when the Canadian outfit have reached parts with their publicity that the heartlands teams could only dream about.

Any problems with this Trans-Atlantic arrangement have been magnified by the impact of COVID-19.

All clubs are struggling - but try being in Wolfpack’s boots with Visa issues, no central money, no crowds, no match day revenue and reduced sponsorship, no benefit of furlough....

For that reason we have to cut them some slack. As long as they satisfy certain guarantees - and still have a team - then they should be allowed back in in 2021.

In an ideal world Toronto and Ottawa would have ganged up with another half dozen Canadian and USA teams to build their own comp, but hitching up with England is the only option at the moment.

Any new town, or especially a big city, that takes up rugby league is growing the game, reaching new fans and sponsors.

We do have to grow the game or we'll spend the next 10 years telling ourselves that the game is dead until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For that reason we should give them a bit of a leg up on this long as few big IFs are met and they don't make us look daft again.