Teams vie for place in Championship 1


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The Independent Online

As many as 18 new clubs, from all over the country, have applied to join Championship 1 from 2013.

The division, the third level of the professional game, is set to welcome four expansion teams, with Coventry the front-runners for a place.

The Rugby League will announce the new structure today, with four clubs set to be promoted to a 14-team Championship and the new boys taking their place in the lower division.

The Dewsbury-born prop, Nick Fozzard, has signed for his hometown club after a Super League career that has taken him to six different teams.

“Nick is a huge signing for us and will show people that we are moving in the right direction,” said the Dewsbury coach, Warren Jowitt, of the 34-year-old prop, who played for Castleford last season and has included two stints with St Helens among his extensive travels.

Dewsbury were saved from relegation to Championship 1 by Barrow’s demotion for financial irregularities.

New Zealand’s Russell Packer will miss the Four Nations opener against Australia at Warrington next Friday after being placed on report for a tackle on Darren Lockyer during the warm-up match between the same two sides at Newcastle on Sunday.

The prop has been suspended for one international and is likely to be replaced by Ben Matulino.

Three Crusaders’ players who are destined for Wigan – Gareth Thomas, Ben Flower and Gil Dudson – will be named today in the Welsh squad for the Four Nations.

Huddersfield have agreed part-time terms with Jamie Love, an 18-year-old centre from the north-east, who played last season for Gateshead Thunder.

The Giants are not new to the idea of bringing in Geordie players, having had Chris Thorman at the club for most of his Super League career.