York Knights target Rugby League expansion in new areas including Scarborough

YORK KNIGHTS are ready to help grow Rugby League in Scarborough, 40 miles to the north-east of the Minster City, as they try to extend their reach in the region.

The well-known seaside resort has a Yorkshire Men’s League side, Scarborough Pirates, having had its own professional team of the same name back in 1991-92.

Based at the old football ground on Seamer Road, they were initially coached by former Great Britain forward Len Casey, then Australian Trevor Bailey.

The original Pirates had targeted a quick promotion from the newly-formed Division Three, but finished ninth, and the venture lasted only one season.

Now the town, which has a population of around 60,000, is among those in North Yorkshire on the radar of the ambitious Knights.

Through its foundation, the club has linked up with the Rugby Football League in a new project to grow the game in the area.

Harrogate, 23 miles to the west, and Selby, 14 miles south, are being targeted first, with Scarborough on the agenda for 2025.

York’s foundation staff will run coaching sessions in local schools and help organise festivals in all three towns.

They will also work with Harrogate Hawks to help strengthen the off-field operations of the Yorkshire Men’s League club and launch a new junior section and help establish a new community club in Selby.

Then they will support Scarborough Pirates in developing a junior section.

Foundation community coach Mark Prangnell said: “This partnership with the RFL will allow the club to further enhance support and offerings in North Yorkshire, which is a major potential growth area.”

Meanwhile the countdown is continuing to York’s league opener at promoted Doncaster on Sunday.

Andrew Henderson’s side, bolstered by a number of new signings including former Super League trio Richie Myler, Will Dagger and Jimmy Keinhorst, are seeking a second successive play-off appearance and an improvement on last year’s sixth-place finish.