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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 16:42 GMT
RFL plans grassroots restructure
BARLA clubs have the opportunity to join a new national division
Teams like Oulton and Siddal could join League Three
Amateur clubs are being invited to join the Rugby Football League's new National League Three.

At the end of this season, the Northern Ford Premiership will be divided into National Leagues One and Two.

The new League Three will be comprised of two divisions of amateur teams, one operated by the British Amateur Rugby League Association (Barla) and the other by the summer-based Rugby League Conference.

Barla clubs have until 28 March to submit their applications for a league that will run from February to September.

It is a tremendous opportunity for BARLA clubs
Barla chief executive Ian Cooper

The season will culminate in a top-six play-off system mirroring the Super League.

The teams will automatically be entered into the Challenge Cup, alongside National Leagues One and Two teams, and the new mid-season National League Cup.

All the teams in National League Three will receive funding from the RFL.

The pyramid structure aims to bring the amateur and professional elements of rugby league closer together.

The intention is to gradually introduce a system of promotion and relegation between National Leagues Two and Three.

Barla chief executive Ian Cooper said: "It is essential that the traditional heartlands of the grassroots game has a summer showcase to complete a national profile for rugby league at all levels.

"It is also a tremendous opportunity for BARLA clubs to access enhanced media exposure and to highlight their exemplary standards of skill, fitness and discipline."

See also:

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