13 years of Love RL: Do you remember these April Fools?

James Gordon

Over the years, we’ve ran a couple of corkers on April 1st – and some that haven’t gone down so well.

We recap on a few of the favourites – let us know if you remember them!

Super League to adopt new points system (2010)
This one could quite feasibly have been true, with the Championship and most other RFL run leagues having the three points for a win and bonus point system in place during this time. There were talks about Super League adopting it, though in the end the Championship would revert back to two points for a win.

Chambers makes rugby league return (2014)
One of the most unlikely trials in rugby league history saw sprinter Dwain Chambers rock up at Castleford, playing one reserve game for them. Our April Fool in 2014 had him landing a deal at London Broncos to return to the sport, though sadly it wasn’t the case.

Salford reach dual-registration agreement with Melbourne Storm (2013)
With Marwan Koukash throwing his financial weight around and linking all kinds of players with the Reds, featuring them in an April Fool was an obvious one in this year – though it was one that didn’t go down too well with Salford fans, already then getting tired of having fun poked at them for their owners’ outlandish statements. Would have provided them with a boost playing wise though, certainly, and was also a little dig at the still much-maligned dual-registration system between Super League and the Championship.

Union considers league switch (2011)
Always one to get tongues wagging, get rugby union involved. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like the worst idea in the world – if you could take the best parts of rugby league and merge with union for their financial strength and organisation, could a hybrid rugby compete with football?!

RFL set to storm the charts (2012)
Having re-read this one, I’m a bit disappointed it didn’t turn out to be true. This one involved a struggling Bradford and the RFL releasing a single, featuring a sprinkling of musical talent plus someone from One Direction.

Cumbrian pair set for shock merger (2008)
Back in the days of Last Tackle, we ran this – partly due to the fact that one of the people working on the site was a big Whitehaven fan. As it’s no longer in our archive, we’ve posted it in full below.

Troubled West Cumbrian clubs Whitehaven and Workington Town are reported to have held secret talks with an unnamed consortium about a possible shock merger.

The consortium, believed to be made up of three Cumbrian businessmen, has been putting together proposals for a Cumbrian franchise and is also said to have consulted the Rugby Football League regarding a Super League licence application.

Discussions continued late in to the night as the group looked to put together the best package for all parties concerned.

Whitehaven, who find themselves next to bottom in National League 1, have been struggling both on and off the field in 2008, losing their opening three league games, as well as coach Paul Crarey.

Neighbours Workington meanwhile are yet to register a win against competitive opposition this year.

The proposals have now received backing from the local councils of Allerdale and Copeland, but it is unknown as to whether the merged team has submitted a licence application in time, with the RFL yet to confirm the identity of the 19 clubs vying for a coveted spot in Super League 2009.

Spokesperson for the consortium, Fiona Pollard, said: “If the people of Cumbria get behind this venture then we believe it can be a success. We are hopeful of bringing top flight rugby league back to the greatest fans in the game.

“We are hoping to hear from the RFL soon about our position, and hope to keep fans as informed as possible about progress.”

The 12 current top flight clubs have all applied, together with Widnes, Salford, Halifax, Celtic Crusaders, Featherstone and Leigh, but the 19th applicant remains a mystery, although it has been widely reported in the past that French side Toulouse would be making up the numbers.

The RFL are expected to reveal the exact identities of the 19 applicants in a press release on Tuesday.