Rugby League clubs back New York and Ottawa to enter League 1
Last Updated: 11/04/19 6:21pm
Clubs have given their backing in principle for both New York and Ottawa to enter League 1 in 2020.
The two North American consortia overcame the first hurdle after addressing the Rugby Football League clubs at a meeting in Salford where, in an indicative vote, they received a comfortable majority.
A two-man New York delegation comprising founder Ricky Wilby and New Zealander Tony Feasey made an hour-long presentation to Championship and League 1 clubs at the AJ Bell Stadium.
They were followed by Toronto founder Eric Perez, who outlined his ambitious plan to relocate current League 1 club Hemel to Ottawa, accompanied by former Hemel coach Dean Thomas and a representative of one of 15 owners.
Both consortia say they need an answer by the end of April if they are to enter League 1 in time for the 2020 season.
The final decision rests with the RFL board, who say they will take into account the feedback from clubs at Thursday's meeting, at which representatives of Warrington, Salford, Catalans Dragons, Hull KR and Leeds attended on behalf of Super League as observers.
RFL senior executive director Simon Johnson, who chaired the meeting, said: "The clubs were in principle supportive by a comfortable majority of the proposals for both Ottawa and New York to join the competitions...we will carry on consulting but this is an important hurdle."
Johnson says the next RFL board meeting is not due until May but directors could meet earlier.
"We've agreed to do it as quickly as we possibly can," he said.