Canadians seek to join League One in 2016

The RFL has received an application from Rugby League Canada to enter a team based in Toronto into the Kingstone Press League One competition from the 2016 season.

And their proposal, with an offer to sponsor the competition as a whole, was put forward at a meeting of Championship clubs in Leeds last Wednesday.

Eric Perez, the Chairman of Rugby League Canada, is confident that the globalisation of Rugby League competitions is the way forward.

This article originally appeared in this week’s edition of League Express newspaper. Click here to download the digital version to your computer, smartphone or tablet

“We are proposing to create the first transcontinental sports team – the first North American side in a European league. It will open up markets that were unthinkable recently,” Perez told League Express.

“For the last four years we have been playing international matches in Toronto and we are now averaging almost 7,000 for every Test,” said Perez.

“We also have our own TV programme ‘The Rugby League Show’ which has 90,000 viewers every week and reaches 170,000 for our Test matches,” he added.

“We have sponsorship deals with Fosters (brewery) and other major companies, and we have a business plan that will enable us to offer free travel to Canada for our opponents and free accommodation when they get to Toronto.

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“We will fly them out on a Thursday, play on Saturday and they will fly back on Sunday, all expenses paid.

“And we will give each club a block of seats in the stand, and if they can sell those tickets, any money they make will go back into their club.”

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