Rugby League: New York team pushes for English spot


A proposed new rugby league club, based in NY and aiming to join England's Rugby Football League at Championship level - one tier below the Super League - have set their sights on Jarryd Hayne as a superstar signing.

The consortium for the NY club hopes to get the go-ahead in time to enter the competition in 2019 at Championship level.

A consortium, backed by two unnamed investors who will provide an initial $10m (£7.5m) of funding, have applied to the RFL about a second transatlantic team joining, following the success of Toronto Wolfpack, who were introduced to the third tier, League 1, this season.

Co-founder Tom Scott told a media briefing in Leeds that, like Toronto, the NY club would not seek any central funding and have already secured $US10 million ($A12.64m) in investment. "We will be self-sufficient".

"We have a small consortium of high-networking individuals, one member of which has made NY his home, and all have a significant love for the game", said co-founder Tom Scott.

Toronto average home crowds of 7,000 in their first season and the NY bid team is confident of drawing 10,000 as their first season average at the 25,000-capacity Red Bull Arena.

The team would play at the 25,000-seater Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, with the consortium confident of attracting a television deal and having pledged to spread the game into schools and the local community. Like Toronto, they would pay for all visiting teams' costs, including flights, accommodation and travel. The United States captain, Mark Offerdahl, who will lead the Tomahawks in this autumn's World Cup, has worked closely with the consortium throughout the process.

Offerdahl played for London but also spent time in the amateur game in America, which he believes is thriving to such an extent that a professional team in the country is the next logical step. "Rugby union has gone insane in the last 10 years but they also love rugby league".

"At the time of the last World Cup, the game was fractured in the USA but now everyone is working together and new teams are forming every year".

But two-time Dally M Medallist Hayne, who has played 199 NRL games, would trump them all by a significant margin and possibly attract decent media attention in America given the notoriety of his short-lived National Football League career.



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