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Rugby, Australian Football: New look for Conference

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posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 06:03 AM
The TotalRL.Com Rugby League Conference will have yet another new look when it kicks off its eighth campaign this summer. Rugby League's rapidly expanding national competition has been totally re-shaped for 2005 with four brand new Premier Divisions supported by eight regional leagues covering most of England and Wales.

And the re-fashioned TotalRL.Com Conference has been able to undertake this substantial redevelopment work thanks to the introduction of 14 brand new clubs for the 2005 campaign, bringing the Conference's total membership to 80. Devon becomes the latest county to join the sport's fastest growing competition with Plymouth one of ten who are debutants to the code.

Their Chairman Paul Willerton commented:

"A group of us got together last spring to plan our application and form an interim committee. Now we have been given the go-ahead and we expect interest in both the club and game to rocket once the fixtures are announced."

"We have already secured our first major sponsorship with phone company 'Orange' agreeing a four-figure sponsorship for our new playing kit which will carry the city's colours of green, black and white. Things are really starting to bubble down here."

The other new entrants are: Club Catterick, Winlaton Vulcans, Thames Valley (based at Aldermaston), Lincoln City Knights, Bedford Tigers, Ormskirk Heelers, Warrington Wizards, Haringay Hornets and Runcorn.

Bramley Buffaloes, who made such an impression when they re-joined the Rugby League family in LHF Healthplan National League Three last year, Hull Phoenix and Leeds Akademiks are now strong enough to run second teams in the Yorkshire division while such is the quality and availability of the emerging talent in their area that Luton Vipers are also able to enter a second team in the East division. Targets for all the clubs will be defending Champions Widnes Saints and current RLC Shield holders Cardiff Demons.


posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 06:05 AM
The inauguration of four Premier Divisions covering North, Central and Southern England along with an upgrade for the Welsh section will now provide a bridge to LHF Healthplan National League Three as the Rugby Football League adds a new tier to its pyramid structure. The Premier Divisions will offer a longer regular season, twelve rounds instead of ten, leading to play offs and a Grand Final which is scheduled to take place in Wales on Sunday, August 28th, the day following the Powergen Challenge Cup decider at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The eventual winners will receive the existing Harry Jepson Trophy.

The Premier Division format was given a tremendous boost last week when the draw for the First Round of the prestigious Powergen Challenge Cup threw up a 'capital city' derby between South London Storm, who have opted to grow their club at Conference level after two seasons in National League Three, and 2004 RLC runners up West London Sharks. The tie is scheduled to take place on February 5th and has already generated massive interest locally.

RFL Services Manager Niel Wood, who has operational responsibility for the competition, believes that the Premier Leagues are a logical development.

"The drive and initiative has come from the clubs themselves," he said. "A number of them are keen to extend not only the length of their season but also the intensity of the level which they play. There are a number of fierce local derbies among the fixtures that will add extra spice to what is already looking like being a tremendous summer of entertainment."

"There will also be a re-focused emphasis on youth development throughout the whole of the RLC with grants and subsidies to clubs as we seek to consolidate the hard work done to date."

"Interest in the RLC has been was as intense as ever throughout the close season with numerous membership enquires from locations throughout England and Wales" he added.

"There is little doubt that the competition has enormous value and a growing presence. That is a testimony to the tremendous amount of effort by a number of dedicated and valued volunteers. A template has been developed which is rapidly becoming the envy of other sports."


posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 06:08 AM

RLC PREMIER NORTH: - Copeland Athletic, West Cumbria Crusaders, Penrith Pumas, Jarrow Vikings, Sunderland City, Peterlee Pumas

RLC PREMIER CENTRAL - Leeds Akademiks, Hull Phoenix, Manchester Knights, Bolton Le Moors, Telford Raiders, Nottingham Outlaws

RLC PREMIER SOUTH - Ipswich Rhinos, West London Sharks, Greenwich Admirals, London Skolars, South London Storm, Luton Vipers

RLC WALES - Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cardiff Demons, Aberavon Fighting Irish, Torfaen Tigers, Newport Titans, Swansea Valley Miners, Valley Cougars



Newcastle Knights, Durham Tigers, Club Catterick, Scarborough Pirates, Winlaton Vulcans, Whitley Bay Buccaneers


Birmingham Bulldogs, Leicester Phoenix, Wolverhampton Wizards, Rugby Raiders, Coventry Bears, TBA


Thames Valley, Gloucestershire Warriors, Plymouth, Bristol Sonics, Oxford Cavaliers, Somerset Vikings


St Ives Roosters, South Norfolk Saints, Bedford Tigers, St Albans Centurions, Cambridge Eagles, Luton Vipers


Gosport & Fareham Vikings, Middlesex Lions, South London Storm, Hemel stags, Kingston Warriors, Haringay Hornets


Leeds Akademiks, Bramley Buffaloes, Bradford Dudley Hill Demons, Huddersfield Underbank Rangers, Hull Phoenix, South Wakefield Sharks, Wetherby Bulldogs, Bridlington Bulls


Derby City, Mansfield Storm, Worksop Sharks, Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks, Lincoln City Knights, Thorne Moor Marauders, Rotherham Giants


Blackpool Sea Eagles, Ormskirk Heelers, Liverpool Buccaneers, Lancaster, Widnes Saints, Chester Wolves, Crewe Wolves, Warrington Wizards, North Wales Coasters, Runcorn


[Edited on 29/1/05 by TRD]


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