Doncaster chief Carl Hall backing his side to win promotion on the pitch after Newcastle decision

DONCASTER chief executive Carl Hall says he feels the club has the attributes to earn promotion on the field after missing out on an automatic place in the Championship to Newcastle Thunder.
Confident: Doncaster RL chief executive Carl Hall. Picture: Marie CaleyConfident: Doncaster RL chief executive Carl Hall. Picture: Marie Caley
Confident: Doncaster RL chief executive Carl Hall. Picture: Marie Caley

Newcastle were yesterday confirmed as the 14th Championship club for the 2021 season, chosen by the Rugby Football League ahead of League 1 rivals Doncaster, Rochdale Hornets, Barrow Raiders and Workington Town,

The RFL appointed a five-strong panel to consider applicants who met a number of necessary qualifying criteria but it was the ambitious north-east club who prevailed.

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They will fill the vacancy that will be left in the Championship when one club is promoted to the Betfred Super League to replace Toronto Wolfpack on Monday.

Hall said: “While we are disappointed not to be chosen to be the team promoted to the Championship, we can be proud with the work put into our application as we left no stone unturned.

“Our aim is now to get back training and get the squad ready for a big season in 2021; we believe the players we have assembled will allow us to be successful.

“I’d like to wish Newcastle all the best for next season, from everyone here at the Dons.”

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Newcastle - who have former Great Britain second-row Denis Betts as their director of rugby - came within 80 minutes of earning promotion to the Championship in 2019, when they were beaten at Oldham in the promotion-deciding Play-Off Final.

Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE, the former RFL President who chaired the panel, explained: “Newcastle Thunder was the unanimous choice of the panel, for an outstanding application.

“The club’s coaching set-up and facilities are superb; its community outreach is well-established and growing.

“Newcastle and the North-East has considerable future growth potential, backed by its owner - as has already been recognised by the decision to play the Super League Magic Weekend at St James’ Park for a fifth time in 2021, and also by Rugby League World Cup 2021 with five fixtures to be played in the region including the tournament opener in Newcastle. The club has a clearly-stated aspiration of Super League success this decade. Overall the panel thought its application most closely matched the vision of the RFL’s Strategy Reset.”

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