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Championship & League 1 clubs support Ottawa and New York introduction

Proposed rugby league teams in the Canadian city of Ottawa and New York in the United States have received support from "a comfortable majority" of Championship and League One sides.

Both clubs presented their plans to repre­sen­ta­tives at a special meeting.

The Rugby Football League board will now continue to "investigate the feasibility" of the proposals.

Ottawa would take Hemel Stags' regis­tra­tion, while the New York set-up would be a newly created club.

"The clubs were in principle supportive, by a comfortable majority, of the proposals for both Ottawa and New York to join the compe­titions," said Simon Johnson, a senior non-executive director of the RFL.

"[And also] for the RFL Board to continue to exercise its discretion to negotiate with both clubs and to make a decision in due course." 

Rugby league has had continental repre­sen­ta­tion since the dawn of Super League, when the now-defunct Paris Saint Germain club kicked off the new era against Sheffield Eagles.

Other French clubs, such as Catalans Dragons from Perpignan, in Super League as well as Championship side Toulouse have subsequently taken their place.

However, the globali­sation of the sport was brought to a new level when Toronto Wolfpack were inaugurated into League One in 2017 - a Canadian team playing its games in the European competition.

Their success, in winning promotion to the Championship and reaching the Million Pound Game last season, has highlighted the possibility for other clubs to follow suit.

There are certain criteria attached, such as a commitment to funding travel for visiting teams and providing facilities, while Toronto are also exempt from central funding.

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