Rugby League Advent #3 – The three teams to have won the new third tier title twice

3 – The number of clubs that have won League 1 twice

York became the third team to win the League 1 (previously National League 2) twice, as they prevailed over pre-season favourites Bradford to secure automatic promotion to the Championship.

The City Knights previously won it in 2005, though they were relegated straight back down the following season.

The other two teams to win the division twice are Dewsbury (2006 and 2009) and Hunslet (2010 and 2014).

Hunslet may well fancy their chances of becoming the first team to do it three times, having recruited well for a tilt at promotion in 2019.

In total, 13 teams have won the league since its inception in 2003, including Toronto Wolfpack, Celtic Crusaders and North Wales Crusaders, with the pre-SL club’s title classed separately to the phoenix club created in the third tier following the Crusaders’ Super League demise.

There was a third tier between 1991 and 1998, firstly known as the Third Division and then as Division Two, before the second and third tier merged to become the Northern Ford Premiership prior to the advent of National League Two.

Taking in to consideration those competitions, Hunslet come out on top as three time winners of the third tier – above York and Dewsbury, but also Keighley and Hull KR with two wins apiece.

League 1 / National League 2 winners

2003 – Keighley
2004 – Barrow
2005 – York
2006 – Dewsbury
2007 – Crusaders
2008 – Gateshead
2009 – Dewsbury
2010 – Hunslet
2011 – Swinton
2012 – Doncaster
2013 – North Wales
2014 – Hunslet
2015 – Oldham
2016 – Rochdale
2017 – Toronto
2018 – York

What’s on site

Check out our new weekend shorts feature, where James and Drew debate a burning rugby league issue in five minutes – this week’s discussion is on whether there should be a mid-season international in 2019.

Big Jim Mills is the latest former player to tell us about his First Game.

There was an eye-catching signing announced on Saturday morning, as Wigan confirmed the capture of Jarrod Sammut from newly-promoted London Broncos.

Wakefield chairman Michael Carter describes them as the “Wimbledon of Super League” as they continue to punch above their weight.

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