NCL accepts two new clubs ahead of 2022 season

Steven Hughes
Championship ball for Monday night rugby league

The National Conference League have announced Seaton Rangers and Bentley have been accepted into the pyramid.

After doing regional leagues in 2021, the top amateur competition in the country will go back to four divisions of 12 teams in 2022.

They were initially a team light heading into 2020. Salford City Roosters dropping out before the end of the 2019 season.

However, they have cut the number of teams in Division Three to 12 teams to have it all even in 2022.

A new presence in the NCL

Seaton will add another Cumbrian presence to the NCL. They add to the likes of Wath Brow, Kells, Egremont Rangers, Millom, Hensingham and Askam in the leagues.

Reacting to the news, Rangers chairman Miguel Blanco-Charters told the RFL website:”Today is a very proud day for myself, the committee members, coaches and the club.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming all the NCL teams to Seaton Rangers. A big thank you from me to all the committee members, volunteers, youth coaches and open age coaches past and present for everything you have all done to get us to this point today. We now look to our players to lead us into a new era for our wonderful club.”

Meanwhile, Bentley will add a new presence in Doncaster for the league. They won the Yorkshire Men’s League in 2019, and were beaten in the final by Siddal in 2021.

Their vice chairman Nick Pownall added:”As a club we are really excited to be joining the NCL for this forthcoming season. It has been an ambition for our club for some time and has finally been realised.

“The players, fans, juniors and all associated with the club will benefit from and enjoy us being in this league. Along with the building of our new community facility and our appearance in the Challenge Cup for the third time, this season promises to be a major one for all concerned with the club.

“We are looking forward to welcoming and testing ourselves against the best amateur teams in the country.

“It’s been a long time since South Yorkshire has been represented in the NCL. Doncaster itself has never been, so we will be flying the flag for the local area.”

When does the 2022 season get underway?

The new season gets underway on 5th March 2022, with all clubs getting underway on that Saturday.

Before then, the fixtures will be announced on 17th December. Just a few days previously, the league’s Challenge Cup participants will find out their opponents.

Bentley, Featherstone LionsHunslet Club Parkside, Leigh Miners Rangers, Lock Lane, Milford, Pilkington Recs, Rochdale Mayfield, Siddal, Stanningley, Thatto Heath Crusaders, Thornhill Trojans, West Hull, Wigan St Patricks and York Acorn are among the clubs to enter the competition in the First Round.

Those ties will take place in January.

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