Ottawa still planning for League 1 in 2022

James Gordon
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Ottawa Aces are still planning to enter League 1 in 2022, coach Laurent Frayssinous has confirmed.

Frayssinous, 43, was appointed coach of the Aces back in July and was recently named coach of the France national team.

READ: France approached England for mid-season international

He said: “We are still in contact with Eric Perez and the club managers. We meet every Tuesday night on video, and we plan and work for Ottawa to be in League 1 in 2022.”

The complications of the COVID pandemic forced the Aces to defer their entry in to the RFL structure after they had already signed the bulk of their squad for 2021.

The club is the brainchild of Toronto Wolfpack co-founder Eric Perez, who purchased the RFL licence of Hemel Stags back in March 2019.

The 17 confirmed signings they had made for 2021 had to look elsewhere for new deals after the Aces pulled out of the season, including Louis Jouffret and Pat Moran who have gone to France to play for Avignon.

Former Widnes quartet James Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Sam Wilde and Jack Johnson have all wound up at Newcastle, while Oliver Ashall-Bott has been given a Super League chance at Huddersfield.

Sam Luckley is another who has ended up in Super League with Salford, while Tom Gilmore (Batley), Matty Fozard (London) and Adam Lawton (Widnes) all signed for Championship clubs.

Meanwhile, neither Ottawa Aces or Toronto Wolfpack have been involved in the early discussions of the new professional league planned in Canada.

The CCCRL aims to be the first co-operative league in the sport, with a soft-launch in 2022 before a full season in 2023.

A source said that while the Aces were still focused on League 1 for 2022, they would be happy to provide assistance to the new league’s founders if required.

READ MORE: Canada to launch professional rugby league competition in 2022