RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood has praised the efforts of Rugby League’s newest clubs Hemel Stags, Oxford and the University of Gloucestershire All Golds for the positive impact they have made on the sport in their debut seasons.
All three clubs joined the semi-professional Kingstone Press Championship One in February and achieved success in their inaugural campaigns with Hemel and Oxford impressing with appearances in the play-offs.
Gloucestershire All Golds ended the regular season at the foot of the Championship One table but took points from established clubs South Wales Scorpions and Oldham, as well as Oxford, along the way, to show rich promise in the 2013 campaign.
“All three clubs have introduced semi-professional Rugby League to new audiences and are providing new opportunities to experience this great sport at first hand to players and supporters alike.
“For Hemel and Oxford to make the play-offs in their debut season is a terrific achievement and reward for a lot of hard work by all concerned at both clubs. Gloucester, too, have turned a lot of heads this year and can feel proud of their efforts this year.
“I am looking forward to seeing how all three clubs continue to build on their success during the off-season and look forward to watching their continued progression in 2014 when I am sure we will see them continue to develop.
“The three new clubs, alongside the likes of North Wales Crusaders, London Skolars and South Wales Scorpions, have underlined the widespread appeal of Rugby League in 2013 and this is particularly pleasing in a World Cup year.
“With some fantastic matches coming up in Rugby League World Cup 2013 , I am sure people from Oxford, Gloucester, Hemel and every other club across the country will be taking the opportunity to enjoy international sport at its best.”