Ottawa Aces relocate to Cornwall

Cornwall RLFC

Professional rugby league will go to Cornwall for the first time after they were given the go ahead to play in League 1 in 2022, forming Cornwall RLFC.

Following Ottawa Aces decision to permanently relocate to the UK, Eric Perez has taken the ‘licence’ they purchased from Hemel Stags to the south west.

They will play at the 4,000-capacity home of Penryn RFC, the Memorial Ground.

Cornwall RLFC director, Colin Groves, said: “This is a landmark day in the history of Rugby League.

“For the first time in our sports history we are truly a national game. Cornwall is a place that was made for Rugby League and, finally, after 126 years, we are proud to bring one of the most exiting team sports on the planet here.

READ MORE: 40 years of pins in the professional rugby league map

“There is no doubt in our minds that Cornwall has a tremendous talent pool and we will unearth many Cornish rugby league heroes.

“This is a club that represents all of Cornwall, a true regional club. We are buzzing at the prospect of building something special here.”

The coronavirus pandemic halted Ottawa’s plans to join the RFL league structure for 2021, after they had recruited a large portion of their squad.

They announced last week that the fall out from that required them to ditch plans to play in Canada, and instead relocate to the UK to compete.

RFL chairman, Simon Johnson, added: “The RFL Board have approved the club’s request to relocate as it takes the Betfred League One competition, and the sport of Rugby League, into a new area, which shares many of the characteristics of the traditional Rugby League heartlands in the north, and has a renowned passion for rugby.

“This is an exciting opportunity to take our great sport to a completely new audience in a beautiful part of the country, and for our clubs and supporters to embrace that.”

Cornwall RLFC will become the 11th side in League 1 for 2022, alongside: Coventry, Doncaster, Hunslet, Keighley, London Skolars, North Wales, Oldham, Rochdale, Swinton, West Wales.

About James Gordon 7230 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. Well, I for one had to look it up, it’s not a joint enterprise with Snooker. I won’t spill the beans but must say 15 gold bezants on a black field or I’ll never get the chance again.

  2. English rugby league just expanded…and I could not make this up…to a town of SIX THOUSAND EHIGHT HUNDRED RESIDENTS!!!.

    Im honestly not kidding here…

    We just allowed a team to move to an out of the way VILLAGE of…one more bloody time…SIX THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED RESIDENTS!!!!!.

    HALF the size of Featherstone.



    • Nope, the move is to the county of Cornwall with 500,000+ residents who will absolutely lap this up – along with the 5 million who visit us annually on holiday. Many of whom come down from the RL heartlands of the North. Once Stadium4Cornwall is built, the team will move there. Penryn is one of the greatest rugby heartlands of the South West, and is the only club side to ever have played the British & Irish Lions. This is a very clever, strategic move for RL and expands (finally) the sport professionally to the South West. Watch this space!

  3. Was Bristol not available?.Was Birmingham busy?.Maybe Middlesborough had plans???


    They wont make the end of the season,we all know this.Why dont the RFL know this???

    Why didnt Eric Perez just take over Hunslet,use the money he has ( ? ) develop the South Leeds Stadium and have some actual chance to make a go of something?

    But no…a village of less than seven thousand people.

  4. Again, I just want to thank the sport of rugby league. Whenever I am feeling down, I simply come on this site and the pure comedy value keeps me going. Keep it up #RLFamily

  5. It doesn’t matter where the next expansion club will emerge, apart from one or two exceptions like Coventry and London Skolars expansion has largely failed, apart form in the amateur game, which is still expansion but at a sensible, after living down South for 26 years the interest in Rugby League is very minimal.

  6. I like the idea of a team in Cornwall, but obviously the small population of the place, travel etc are all reasonable concerns.
    I thought straight away that there is the possibility of it being a “destination” game, and that Cornwall already has some level of rugby, though Union, and I have always, when in Cornwall myself, pondered the lack of professional sports teams there for people to support, so they could grab a piece of attention from people looking for a team of any sport to support, through whether people in Cornwall simply aren’t too concerned about sports in that way should also be considered.

    “Eric Perez” seems to have a weird view of things (I don’t know the guy), but just read his “quotes”…

    “Is it that long of a way really?” Perez countered. “I think I’ve tried to do some things that were quite a bit longer in terms of a way away. There’s no passport required.

    “It’s a beautiful summer destination, and the best part is you’re still in England. You didn’t need a passport and you can drive home after.”

    He speaks like a North American who thinks driving three hours for something to eat is a normal thing to do. Not in Britain. The infrastructure just isn’t there for that. It’s congested and Cornwall is stuck out there, with irregular bus services and small country lanes. I don’t know Penryn or whatever it’s called… Is there a train service from national stations? Easy road access? Everyone isn’t going to drive to Cornwall for a rugby match. Some people will, away fans will always be anywhere in small numbers. People don’t even like driving to Cornwall for a week long holiday, never mind a rugby game.

  7. I live in Cornwall. I am from east hull and a rovers fan. I will be supporting my new local team as it’s only one hour away by train. Get in there… rugby league finally on my door step. Can’t wait. 😊

  8. Despite my Aussie ingnorance and therefore lack of right to comment on the subject matter directly. I have to say wow, what an overwhelming amount of negative responses to a new sporting venture. So I better just say Goodluck and all the best. Welcome aboard. To Rugby league football, the greatest game of all.

    • To educate you,Mike…Cornwall is a very under populated and quite poor county.

      The reason the County does not have a top grade professional soccer team is because the people/money just arent there.

      There is NO WAY that this club is inn existance in a year.They will draw less than 300 fans a game.

      Why not try the city of Birmingham…a city of over a million people?.

      • Spectator wise the team will probably start on 1,000 per home game and it`ll grow from there. Where does your 300 prediction come from – what is it based on? Cornish Pirates have hit 6-7000 crowds in Tier 2 of Union, this is going to go off with a huge bang especially May to September each year with the Northern holiday makers down here.

        • They will be lucky to acheive 200 per game, the BBC in the area, and the rest of the Cornish media, will not be touching it with a very large soggy bargepole. Sorry, this is dead in the water.

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