The RFL will launch a new community league for 2019 for the best community clubs from the south of England and Wales.
The Southern Conference League will feature 14 teams for the 2019 season, following an application process occurring in late 2018.
The league will be split into two divisions, with one in the east and the other in the west. Top clubs from both divisions will then compete against one another in the end of season play-offs to be crowned overall 2019 Southern Conference League Champions.
The idea behind the league is to provide competitive playing opportunities for the best clubs within southern regional leagues on a weekly basis. It will provide a more intense and longer playing season for all clubs involved.
Marc Lovering, the RFL’s director of participation and development, said: “The Southern Conference League will offer a new level of competition to the south of England and Wales, allowing us to further develop Rugby League in these important regions.
“Having a more competitive league will allow us to showcase the best the south has to offer in one competition – helping us to raise the profile of Rugby League.
“The launch of the league comes at a good time for the sport within the South and Wales, especially with the return of London Broncos to the Betfred Super League. We hope this will allow us to build on the success already occurring, to grow and develop the game of Rugby League.
“There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes from both RFL staff, the Southern Management Group and the various clubs involved. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved thus far.”
The Eastern Division includes Hemel Stags, after their decision to take a year’s break from League 1.
The 14 clubs participating with the Southern Conference League in 2019 are:
All Golds (Gloucestershire)
Cardiff Blue Dragons
Swindon St George
Hammersmith Hills Hoists
North Herts Crusaders
South London Silverbacks