Torfaen Tigers have become the first club to be awarded as full member status of Wales Rugby League, it has been confirmed.
Based at Cwmbran RFC, the club’s first team compete in the RFL Conference South, while their junior sides compete in the WRL’s domestic competitions.
“This is a big step forward for both the club and the game in Wales,” said Tigers chairman Rob Davies.
“It’s great that we’ve managed to be the first club to achieve it and we hope that other clubs follow suit.
“As a committee, we’ve been working towards it for three and a half years and it’s an exciting time for the club.
“We’re building well and are doing a lot to promote the status of rugby league in Torfaen and the surrounding areas.
“We’ve more big news in the pipeline for Torfaen Tigers coming soon so watch out for that in the forthcoming weeks or months.”
The WRL chief executive officer Chris Thair hailed the development as great news for the game in Wales.
“We’re delighted that one of our most progressive clubs in Torfaen Tigers RLFC has become the first official full member of Wales Rugby League,” he said.
“We congratulate everyone involved in the club and pass thanks to Rob Davies and the rest of the club’s management committee.
“Wales Rugby League have recently launched a new membership policy, previously passed by members and the WRL Board, which will ensure a fairer system for those clubs and establishments playing rugby league in Wales.
“An exciting new addition to the policy is that schools and other educational establishments can also become full members along with the clubs, which is a unique position for a National Governing Body.
“The WRL membership policy now differentiates between single team clubs or new start-ups and those that have made a clear commitment to the sport by playing for a number of seasons.
“When I started in 2013 every club in Wales ran three or less teams which was a clear weakness for the sport in terms of sustainability and community profile.
“A fairer membership policy ensures we can reward and support those clubs and establishments who are making the greatest commitment to rugby league in Wales.
“From 2017 onwards there will be a much clearer reward system for full members including profit share, level of staff support, provided resources, discounted courses and tickets to internationals.
“We have since held dialogue with a number of ambitious clubs, Torfaen being one of them, and thankfully they have also taken up the challenge to grow themselves, along with our support.
“By becoming a full member Torfaen are demonstrating their commitment to rugby league and to this journey we are all undertaking together in Wales. We know many more clubs will soon be following suit.”