Newcastle Thunder have won the race to play in the Championship in the 2021 season.
The North East club will fill the vacancy that will be left in the Championship when one club is promoted to the Super League to replace Toronto Wolfpack, who failed in their bid to gain re-admission into the top flight.
Newcastle beat Rochdale, Workington, Barrow and Doncaster for a place in the second tier for 2021.
Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE, the former RFL President who chaired the panel, said: “Newcastle Thunder was the unanimous choice of the panel, for an outstanding application. The club’s coaching set-up and facilities are superb; its community outreach is well-established and growing.
“Newcastle and the North East has considerable future growth potential, backed by its owner – as has already been recognised by the decision to play the Super League Magic Weekend at St James’ Park for a fifth time in 2021, and also by Rugby League World Cup 2021 with five fixtures to be played in the region including the tournament opener in Newcastle.
“The club has a clearly stated aspiration of Super League success this decade. Overall the panel thought its application most closely matched the vision of the RFL’s Strategy Reset.
“On behalf of the panel, I thank and congratulate all five clubs who submitted applications. The applications were comprehensive, thorough, they showed aspiration and ambition, and they were very honest.
“I hope the four clubs who have missed out will see this as an opportunity to press for promotion in 2021.
“Good luck to them, and also to Newcastle Thunder in their preparations to play in what promises to be a vibrant and high-quality Betfred Championship competition.”
— Newcastle Thunder (@ThunderRugby) December 10, 2020
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