Neighbour excited by Championship expansion

James Gordon

Gateshead coach Kevin Neighbour is looking forward to being part of a truly national Championship 1 competition in 2013.

The RFL have offered four new teams the chance to join the professional ranks from next season, with Northampton already confirmed as one of the new faces.

It has led to a scramble amongst the existing clubs, who will fight over four promotion places from the third tier this season, with the remaining clubs facing long away trips from 2013 onwards.

Long away trips are something that Gateshead are used to, however, and Neighbour is excited by the potential for new clubs in the division.

He said: “It’s going to be an unknown quantity. This year will be tough as people try to get out, and next year is going to be even tougher as nobody is going to know who anybody is!

“Four new teams are coming in, and with that there is new dynamics, a new type of player and new grounds to go to. It’s exciting. It’s good to spread the game.

“The RFL are taking their time on who is coming in and the structure of the game. Us and Skolars won’t feel like outpost clubs anymore. We’ll still be fighting our corner, but there will be newer sides who will be great to compete with.”