Leeds Rhinos' star backs York City Knights for promotion to Super League

York City Knights should be the 12th club in Betfred Super League next year, Leeds Rhinos forward James Donaldson reckons.
York's new LNER Community Stadium. Picture by York City Knights.York's new LNER Community Stadium. Picture by York City Knights.
York's new LNER Community Stadium. Picture by York City Knights.

Donaldson played for York on dual-registration during his time at Hull KR and believes the North Yorkshire club would be a good addition to the competition.

A decision on who will replace Toronto Wolfpack next year is due to be made by the middle of next month.

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Donaldson said: “I would really love to see York in Super League.

Rhinos' James Donaldson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Rhinos' James Donaldson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Rhinos' James Donaldson. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“The way they have gone about their business these last few years and the new stadium they have got, with the facilities there, they have come on leaps and bounds.

“I think everything is setting up nicely for them.

“When I played for them I trained at their facility and it’s brilliant, they have got a great set up and Fordy [coach James Ford] is doing a great job there.

“A lot of my former teammates are there from Hull KR and Cuthbo [Adam Cuthbertson, who left Rhinos at the end of the 2020 season] is going there as well, so I would like to see the opportunity go to them.”

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York were promoted to the Championship at the end of 2018 and finished third last year, when their average home league crowd was 2,065.

They are due to move into a new stadium just outside the city centre next year and will target promotion on the field if they don’t get the nod through the application process.

Donaldson admitted: “I don’t know if it has come a few years too early for them.

“There’s a lot of teams like London and Leigh who have been in Super League before and have put a decent season together.

“I know they got relegated, but they competed.

“I can’t really see who it is going to be, to be fair.

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“Toulouse have come on leaps and bounds as well and I wouldn’t be able to call it, but York would be pretty nice and I think they would bring a lot to the game, being in that area.”

Donaldson’s former club Bradford Bulls are also bidding for a top-flight place, along with Featherstone Rovers, Toulouse Olympique, London Broncos and Leigh Centurions, but Widnes Vikings have said they will not apply.

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