Raging Bull Follow Hemel Stags into Championship One
Posted On 23 March 2012
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Hemel Stags will join Championship One in 2013, the Rugby Football League announced on Tuesday.
The Stags will line up with Northampton and two other clubs from outside the game's traditional heartland in making the step up to semi-professional level.
RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "This is another exciting day for Rugby League as we work tirelessly to grow and develop the sport. As with Northampton, this means further geographic expansion for Championship One and fits with our strategy to widen the sport's catchment area and increase the number of Rugby League players involved.” He continued, "Hemel have a long and proud history and have played at the highest level of the community game for a number of years."
Hemel were formed 31 years ago and made an unsuccessful bid to join the second tier of the professional game in 1988.
"From the day in April 1981 when we kicked off as a pub team in borrowed shirts we have been determined to grow the sport in Hemel Hempstead,” said Chairman Bob Brown, the club's founder. “Two decades of playing in non-professional national leagues have prepared us for the demands of Championship One. A long-term commitment to facilities and youth development has paid dividends and has made the Stags one of the leading sports clubs in the region. We had the team but not the facilities in place in 1998 when we unsuccessfully applied to join the Northern Ford Premiership. The one-year lead time we now have to prepare will ensure that we will be ready both on and off the field in 2013."
Hemel have already produced two players, Dan Sarginson and Kieran Dixon, for London Broncos.
The RFL will announce the identity of the two remaining new clubs that will join Northampton and Hemel Stags in Championship One over the next few months.
Raging Bull have proudly been kit supplier to Hemel Stags for the past three seasons and will continue their involvement as the Stags head into the professional ranks.
Raging Bull Managing Director, Carl Richards, said; "I'm delighted with a club like Hemel getting an opportunity to play in Championship One from next season. They are a great community club and have some great people working hard behind the scenes to make this all happen. We have been supplying kit to Hemel for several seasons and we will continue to be on and off field kit supplier and sponsor of the club in 2013 and beyond."