Merger leaves League One division two clubs short for next season

Hunslet RLFC hosting Gloucestershire All Golds earlier this season.
Hunslet RLFC hosting Gloucestershire All Golds earlier this season.
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Kingstone Press League One Hunslet and Bradford Bulls will be without fixtures next season against the University of Gloucestershire All Golds and Oxford, who have merged to create a new club.

The Rugby Football League has given the venture the green light with a view to a new Bristol-based club joining League 1 in 2019.

Neither of the existing clubs will compete in next year’s competition and will instead aim to secure the investment required to be granted approval by the RFL to launch the team in time for the 2019 season. RFL chief operating officer, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The Rugby Football League is clear that there is an expectation on all clubs in the professional game to offer a clear strategy that demonstrates their plans to help grow and strengthen the sport in future years.

“Oxford and Gloucester have come to the conclusion that the best way for them to now move forward is by creating a new club in Bristol that is backed by significant support and investment.

“The Rugby Football League board has accepted this and is looking forward to seeing further detailed plans for the new club in due course. Rugby league will continue to have a presence in both Oxford and Gloucester ,with community clubs and foundations remaining in place.”

In 2018, League 1 will be made up of 14 clubs playing each other home and away.