Hull Kingston Rovers are backing Halifax in their pursuit of a return to Super League.
The West Yorkshire club are one of several Championship sides with serious ambitions of reaching the elite after the change in league format.
And the Shay club have boosted their chances of promotion by agreeing a new partnership with the Robins.
As well as striking a dual-registration deal – where Hull KR’s fringe players can turn out for Halifax in the Championship – the two clubs will work together off the field, working together in marketing, coaching and boardroom level.
Hull KR chief executive Mike Smith said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Hull Kingston Rovers and Halifax RLFC to work closely together to the advantage of both clubs.
“Although we will still retain our links with Gateshead in Championship One, this partnership is a chance to offer several of our more seasoned young players a tougher test at a higher level.
“There is a fantastic set up at Halifax and in Richard Marshall they have a talented young coach who has proven his abilities in the recent England Academy series.”
With the inclusion of Gateshead, Hull KR and Halifax will be able to move players between all three clubs, and they hope to stage joint training sessions.
Rovers’ Jason Netherton – who has confirmed his retirement as a player – will now take on the job of partnership liaison office, with one of his roles to increase participation in rugby league in Hull, Halifax and the North East.
Halifax RLFC chairman Michael Steele said: “The co-operation between the clubs will be comprehensive and we all expect to progress operationally.”