Newcastle Thunder’s wait for RFL approval goes on as club issue latest update with New Year approaching

Ben Olawumi
Newcastle Thunder, Kingston Park

Newcastle Thunder in action at Kingston Park against York. Photo: Chris Lishman | MI News.

Newcastle Thunder’s woes aren’t yet over, with the club’s latest update being that their spot in League 1 for 2024 is yet to be confirmed by the RFL.

Relegated from the Championship in 2023 having returned to a part-time model, Thunder first said they would be withdrawing from League 1 back in mid-October, citing huge financial woes.

Since then though, it’s been a steadily positive u-turn, receiving a positive initial grading from IMG and beginning fundraising to generate enough to be able to field a team come 2024.

That fundraising is still ongoing, with clear re-building plans already laid out, and the North East outfit recently confirmed that head coach Chris Thorman would be sticking around with the team to remain at their Kingston Park home.

Thunder too were included in the release of the fixture lists for both League 1 & the 1895 Cup, set to host Hunslet on March 17 in their opening league game.

Newcastle Thunder’s woes continue as club issue latest update with New Year fast approaching

The club’s latest post on X – @Thunderrugby – reads: “Update: Newcastle Thunder can confirm that we are still waiting for official confirmation from the RFL that we can compete in League 1 in 2024.

“We are hopeful we will get the green light very soon.”

Things still look positive, and it’s important to stress that, but it would appear that Thunder are going to have to continue playing the waiting game for now.

Though this looks extremely unlikely as things stand, the RFL have already said they do have a contingency plan to drop League 1 down to an eight-club division for 2024 if required.

Thorman’s side’s first competitive game – in the 1895 Cup group stages – is currently scheduled for January 28 when Championship outfit York are set to make the trip up to the North East.

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