For months now it has been publicised that the Rugby Football League is set on moving from it’s current Red Hall base in Leeds and, after various different possible venues were mooted, they have finally announced the location of their new home.
A National Rugby League Centre is to be created at Manchester City Football Club’s Etihad Campus and the RFL are set to use that as their new base going forward. England’s national teams will also use the base as their training venue ahead of matches and, speaking of the move, interim CEO Ralph Rimmer explained that “moving will be transformational for rugby league on and off the field.” It is hoped that the proximity to the current Premier League leaders will benefit the RFL and the sport as a whole when it comes to marketing and profile and Rimmer further added that “the world class facilities that will be made available to every level of the England set-up will mean that we have the access to some of the best facilities in the world.”
Their new base should be ready ahead of the 2021 RLWC and is a return to the area of Manchester where rugby league’s Magic Weekend was hosted from 2012-2014. Furthermore, it could be seen as a boost to the hopes of amateur team Manchester Rangers who currently play at the 6500 stadium which forms part of the Etihad Campus. They are hoping to become the city’s first professional rugby league club since 1955 and have been rumoured to be the next UK based team to gain admission to Betfred League 1 in the coming years.