Bedford Tigers: Rugby League Expansion Team Ready for League One

Rugby League Expansion Team Expresses Interest in Joining League One

In a recent development, the Bedford Tigers have become the first southern team to publicly express their interest in joining the Betfred League One, as the Rugby Football League (RFL) opens the door for expansion teams to join the competition from the 2025 season onwards.

This announcement comes on the heels of the RFL’s decision to consider applications for a “managed restructure of the competition structure” below the Super League. According to reports, eight clubs have already expressed interest, but Bedford Tigers and the Goole Vikings are the first to publicly declare their intent.

Posting on their official social media channels and website, the Bedford Tigers expressed their excitement at the prospect of becoming the 36th professional rugby league team in the country. The club acknowledged the significant undertaking of joining the league, but emphasized their commitment to growing the sport for all.

Addressing the historical challenges faced by expansion teams, the Tigers highlighted their 20-year history in the area and the establishment of their Women’s and Wheelchair teams in the respective Championship competitions. Furthermore, the club formed a Charitable Foundation in 2023 to support their bid.

While the Tigers’ current IMG score stands at 3.5, which is just 1.57 points behind the North Wales Crusaders, the club remains confident in their ability to meet the necessary criteria, including factors such as attendance, league placement, and financial accounts.

The addition of the Bedford Tigers would help round out League One from nine to ten teams, following the recent demise of the London Skolars and West Wales Raiders. As the first southern-based team to express interest, the Tigers’ bid represents a significant step in the RFL’s efforts to expand the reach of rugby league beyond its traditional heartlands.

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