RFL said the schedule to admit either club is very tight after bids are due to be submitted on Thursday, with director Karen Moorhouse adding: A decision will be needed quickly, but we cant rush it

The Rugby Football League has admitted the schedule would be very tight to accommodate the request of both Ottawa and New York to be admitted into the game in time for next season, as both clubs prepare to present their cases on Thursday for entry into League 1.

The two consortia from major North American cities are aiming to follow in Toronto Wolfpacks wake when they outline their plans to Super League clubs and the RFL in Salford. If accepted they would start in the sports bottom tier, League 1, two divisions below Super League.

The governing body will make a final decision on the bids later in the year, but the RFLs director, Karen Moorhouse, said: Everyone acknowledges that if 2020 was going to happen for either of them, things would need to move very quickly. We understand if its going to happen, a decision will be needed quickly, but we cant rush it. Its our job as the RFL board to make sure everything stacks up. If they say theyve got certain commercial or broadcast deals there, we need to make sure there is proof of that.

Super League, however, wants to introduce guidelines which would make any new overseas sides subject to further scrutiny should they subsequently gain promotion. The Guardian understands the top-flight is keen to limit overseas representation in the competition to no more than the three existing overseas clubs initially: Catalans, Toronto and Toulouse.

Any further team which secures promotion, such as Ottawa or New York, will have to prove their worth to Super League with separate broadcast deals in North America that would strengthen the competitions commercial profile across the Atlantic.

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That is an agreement the RFL are supportive of, with Moorhouse adding: Were close to finalising an agreement in terms of extra conditions and the number of overseas teams in Super League.

Both North American clubs would fund all travel and accommodation costs of visiting teams and would not take any central funding up to the end of the current television deal in 2021.


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