Three-strong League 1 shortlist revealed including Yorkshire club and surprise southern package with timeline confirmed

Aaron Bower
League 1 match ball

A League 1 match ball

The Rugby Football League have confirmed the race to join League 1 in 2025 is down to three clubs: Anglian Vipers, Bedford Tigers and Goole Vikings.

Applications were opened earlier this year following the decision to restructure the professional game from 2025, with it deemed necessary for a new team to join the third-tier from the beginning of next season.

The RFL received 11 expressions of interest but only three have been taken forward to a final stage. Goole had already gone public with their intent to play in League 1 next year, as had Bedford.

But the inclusion of Anglian Vipers, who are based in Norfolk and play in the East Rugby League division, is certainly a surprise.

The three applications will now be considered in greater detail, with officials from the RFL confirming visits to assess their facilities over the summer months.

They will then make formal presentations to the RFL at the Etihad Campus in August, with a decision confirmed on who will become the newest professional team expected by the end of September.

More to follow..