New York are in advanced talks about playing in the Challenge Cup in 2021 despite it looking increasingly likely that they will have to wait until 2022 to enter League 1.
League Express has learned that Championship and League 1 clubs were informed last week that the franchise from Ottawa has been given the green light to enter the third-tier next year.
New York, despite being in a strong position off the field, may now have to wait until 2022.
But they could start playing before then after expressing a desire to be involved with the Challenge Cup in what would be a major move for the competition.
The franchise claim to be talking with the RFL about entering the sport’s most famous competition, where they would, League Express understands, potentially come in at the very first hurdle of the Cup in round one.
They are planning to play their home games in the United States if they are drawn at home in the Cup. Toronto Wolfpack had previously played their home games at the ground of the team they were drawn against in 2018.
But New York want to begin their attempts to expose the American public to Rugby League as early as possible, and are already have a venue in mind should they be drawn at home in the Challenge Cup.
If they join League 1 they are still hoping to play their home games at Red Bull Arena, home of Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls, but would likely play Challenge Cup fixtures elsewhere in the city.
There is also the possibility of New York entering the 1895 Cup in 2021.