Widnes granted Super League licence

Widnes Vikings will play in Super League from next season after winning the race for a licence, seeing off rivals Barrow and Halifax.

The Vikings, who missed out to Salford and Celtic in the last round of applications back in 2008, were heavy favourites this time round.

After winning the Northern Rail Cup in 2009, Widnes had ticked the on-field criteria box at the very first attempt, and have since worked hard developing their youth structure and business structure.

Previously in Super League from 2002 until 2005, when they were relegated to be replaced by Catalans, Widnes have comfortably topped the average Championship attendance table in each of the past three seasons.

It is likely that a Super League club will make way for the Vikings, but an expansion of the top division hasn’t definitively been ruled out.

Halifax, having met the stipulated criteria which includes an average attendance of more than 2500, will now go up against the 14 current Super League clubs as their licence applications go under scrutiny.

A decision will be made on July 26 as to which clubs will line-up in Super League next season.

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