Hemel Stags on course for Ottawa relocation, New York club a work in progress

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has accepted an application for Hemel Stags to be relocated to Ottawa for the start of the 2020 League One season.

Member clubs last month asked the RFL to conduct due diligence on applications for one team to be based in Ottawa and a fresh New York-based outfit to join the third tier from next year.

The RFL has accepted in principle for the Stags to move to Canada on the proviso that the governing body and a consortium do more work that will be necessary before the club can join the competition next season.

There will be no League One action in New York next year, though, as it was agreed by the RFL and a consortium that joining in 2021 is a more realistic target.

The RFL stated that attempting to bring a club from New York into League One in 2020 would place that club under undue pressure due to it being a start-up operation. 

Toronto Wolfpack joined League One in 2017 and are now top of the Championship after missing out on back-to-back promotions last season.

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