In a move believed to be a first for the sport, the governing body of Spain – the Asociación Española de Rugby League – has become co-owners of Bath RL, who play in the West of England competition.
Dean Buchan, president of España Rugby League, commented: “We’re excited to be joining Bath and to begin this new chapter. Over the last few years they have created a solid foundation that will allow us to support them as we aim to take the club forward together.
“España Rugby League has been looking to invest in a community club as part of our player development pathway since last summer, and we chose Bath Rugby League due to the work Chris Chatten has already done and his realistic vision and ambitions for the club. Our support will see the sport thrive in the city and surrounding area in the years to come.”
Chris Chatten, club Coordinator at Bath Rugby League, said: “I started speaking to the Spanish Rugby League a few months ago and it became clear there was a shared vision regarding the potential for growth of the sport in and around here. We are at the very beginning of an exciting new period in the club’s history.”
Bath Rugby League club was founded in 2017. They won the WoE Championship Final the following year and were one of few clubs to be granted pilot open age fixtures in autumn 2020 to aid the Rugby Football League test Covid-secure matchday protocols, unfortunately those fixtures were cancelled as the country entered a second lockdown in November.