‘Exciting’ plans from CanadaDate published: Thursday, May 7, 2015
CHRIS Hamilton, chairman of Oldham RL Club, has welcomed as “exciting” ambitious plans to enter a Canadian team into Kingstone Press League One next year.
The trans-Atlantic proposal has been a hot topic in the sport for some time —- and the RFL is now believed to have had a formal application for League One entry in 2016 from a consortium based in Toronto.
To cut down on flights and other travel expenses, the Canadians want to play four games in a row in their country and then four in a row here, and so on throughout the season.
It is also thought that they are willing to pay the travel expenses of their English opponents, as well as their own.
Despite the apparent enormity of such a project for third-tier clubs employing only part-time players, the RFL is believed to be looking at it favourably.
Said Hamilton: “The Canadians did a presentation to our clubs last year and got a very positive reaction.
“You immediately think of distance and cost but they will cover all the costs and they tell us its only five hours on a plane, which is not much longer than it takes us to go to South Wales on a bus.
“Some folk were wary because of the logistics of players having to get time off work, but all things considered I think the majority of clubs, players and fans would be very excited by it.
“I was put in touch with the Canadians last year after the visit to Whitebank by the RAF side, who had been on tour to Canada where they were surprised and impressed by the size of the crowds at rugby league games and the enthusiasm of the locals.
“It all came about because the people behind the plan to put a club side in League One had once had business interests over here.
“While they were here they watched Super League on television and were enthralled by its speed, skill and physicality.
“It will certainly be interesting to see how it all works out.”