Super League: Decision on 12th team for 2021 expected by 16 December

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Sonny Bill Williams

A decision on which club will fill the vacant 12th spot in Super League for the 2021 campaign is scheduled to be made by 16 December.

Prospective members must either have played in Super League or finished in the top six in the Championship in 2018 or 2019.

The deadline for applications is the morning of Monday, 30 November.

Lord Jonathan Caine, a Conservative peer, will subsequently chair a panel which will make the final decision on which club to admit to Super League.

The seven-strong panel will also consist of three members from each of Super League and the Rugby Football League.

Eight vie for single spot

The initial criteria set down by Super League and the RFL effectively means eight clubs are eligible to apply for a place in the top flight next season.

The sides in question – Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh Centurions, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique, Widnes Vikings and York City Knights – have all expressed an interest in replacing Toronto Wolfpack.

The governing bodies will announce the full application process and the criteria against which applications will be assessed on Thursday.

“The RFL and Super League are conscious of the limited period of time for the preparation of applications, but equally aware that the successful club will need time to prepare for the 2021 season,” a statement on the RFL website said.external-link

“The application criteria will be aligned, where possible, with information and documentation already held by the RFL, or which applicant clubs should already have in existence.”

The RFL will also speak to League One clubs about the implications of the vacancy created in the Championship, while the third tier also has one club fewer than expected for 2021 after Ottawa Aces deferred their entry into the division until 2022.

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