Halifax will launch a bid to join Super League in 2021 following the decision to ‘promote’ a twelfth team next year.
The West Yorkshire club will compete for a place in the top flight alongside the likes of Toulouse Olympique, London Broncos and York City Knights who are also preparing their applications for entry next season after Toronto Wolfpack’s reapplication to the competition was rejected.
Fax, who reached the Challenge Cup semi-final last year, haven’t been in Super League since 2003, when they were relegated with zero points.
In 1998 they finished third in the competition after moving to The Shay, which is a 14,000 capacity stadium.
The Super League and RFL will decide together which club will be granted the final place in next year’s competition
Media and marketing director Lee Kenny told TotalRL: “The board this year has made a conscious decision to expand in all areas and it’s a natural progression towards the next step we want to take.
“We have the ambition to be more than a top-tier Championship club and that comes from the fans, players, coaches and directors. We didn’t anticipate being able to seize the opportunity so soon but we want to get this club back to the top.
“Reaching the Challenge Cup semi-final gave everybody a more recent taste of what that could look like. If we don’t have those aspirations to go up then what’s the point? We’re not just here to make the numbers up.”
A number of clubs are expected to apply though many, including former Super League champions Bradford Bulls, are considering their options.
Head coach Simon Grix added: “It’s an opportunity for the club to push for a place back in Super League and if we’re not successful, gives us a barometer of where we are and where we need to get moving forward.”
Halifax were one of the sport’s founding clubs back in 1895 and are five-time Challenge Cup winners, last lifting the trophy in 1987.
They have won four RFL Championships and the Yorkshire Cup five times.