Northern Rail Cup set for new format in 2015

The RFL have confirmed that the Northern Rail Cup is unlikely to take place in 2014, but will return with a revamped format the following season.

Although Northern Rail’s contract as sponsors ended following the 2013 final in July, RFL Director of Standards and Licensing Blake Solly indicated they were keen to extend their support of rugby league.

He said: “2014 is in many ways a transitional period for the Kingstone Press Championships and with Northern Rail’s contract having come to an end this year, we are considering the Cup’s place next season.

“This situation was discussed at the last Championships club meeting and it is possible that its omission for one year may allow a smoother transition into a new format from 2015.

“A number of Championship clubs have indicated that they would be happy for their season to comprise the 26 home and away fixtures in 2014 and we are working with the Championship One clubs on alternatives to increase the number of games they play should this decision be reached.

“The Northern Rail Cup has been a popular feature of the Championships clubs’ calendar since 2002 and its future form will largely be shaped by the outcome of the Policy Review but there are already exciting proposals for the Cup competition to be relaunched in a revised format from 2015.

“Northern Rail has expressed its desire to continue their long and successful association with Rugby League and is enthusiastic about what the sport can offer them in the future.”

Leigh won the competition for a record fourth time with a 43-28 win over Sheffield at The Shay.

The final had previously been held at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool for the previous eight years.

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