New York City Rugby League pushed back to 2022

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 01: General view of fans during the Major League Soccer game between FC Cincinnati and NY Red Bulls on March 1, 2020 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Toronto Wolfpack’s success in Rugby League has opened the door for further teams from North American to join the British rugby fraternity. The Ottawa Stags will be the next entrant into League 1 and will join in 2021. The Stags hope to emulate the success of the Toronto Wolfpack and to ensure they do, Wolfpack founder Eric Perez is overseeing operations in the Canadian capital.

The Rugby League season is under way and fans are anticipating a big season from the Toronto Wolfpack. Fans can visit Nostrabet to get the latest bet bonus and tips before wagering on the next round of Rugby League fixtures.

While the Stags are to begin play in 2021, what about the New City club that was expected to join at the same time? A lot has happened with New York City Rugby League but it isn’t the entry into League 1 they had hoped for. 

NYCRL to wait for League 1

The Ottawa Stags entry into League 1 in 2021 will push back New York City’s bid. It is likely the New York City club will be admitted for the following season giving them more time to prepare. Rugby Football League have already notified the clubs in both the Super League and League 1 that the Stags will begin play next season changing the dynamic of the competition with another North American club. 

Perez acquired the Rugby Football League license of the Hemel Stags in 2019. He relocated the club to Ottawa seeking to build a strong rugby team in the Canadian capital using locally sourced players. Unlike the Wolfpack, it has been indicated that Ottawa will take its time and won’t be hellbent on promotion to the Super League like Toronto were. 

The Rugby Football League’s decision on Ottawa joining League 1 has left New York City Rugby League on the outside looking in. According to Love Rugby League, organisers were unwilling to let two North American clubs join the competition for the same campaign. Fears over one of the two expansion teams folding halfway through the campaign was surely on their minds when the decision of entry was made. 

New York City Rugby League eye Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup

Despite the disappointment of not receiving the go ahead to join the third-tier of Rugby League in 2021, New York City Rugby League have set their eyes on the 1895 Cup. The club want to build a reputation going into the 2022 League 1 season and believe competing in the two cup competitions would enable them to build a brand image. 

New York City Rugby League hope to turn Americans on to the sport. In 2018, Global Sport Matters claimed rugby was the fastest growing sport in the United States and identified Nielsen research that indicated 33 million people were interested in it. 

Although the club want to compete in both the Challenge Cup and 1895 Cup, it is unknown at this point just where they will find a playing squad. With the team’s entry into League 1 less than two years away, they are still building the franchise from the ground up. The good news is New York City Rugby League would have a home venue for games in the cup competition. They plan to play home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The venue is the home stadium of Major League Soccer club Red Bull New York. 

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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