Friday, 16 February 2018

UK League One Competition : 2018 Preview

At the third tier of RL in the UK, there is League One. The name confuses but it sounds good. Here some decent teams give their all. They are spread across England and Wales. So what is 2018 shaping up like? I'm not going to predict but here are the teams in alphabetical order:

Bradford Bulls: Relegated from the Championship (above this competition) in 2017 due to financial problems, a red hot favourite to go back up next year. Location: North England. Founded 1863 (& 1907).

Coventry Bears: Finished 14th out of 16 last year so not too much expected. Location: West Midlands. Founded 1998.

Doncaster RLFC. Were 5th last year so could be near the top come the end of the season. They were 6th in the playoffs. Location: North England. Founded 1951.

Hemel Stags. Located in Hemel Hempstead, they came last in 2017 so they will have to fight hard again this year. Location: South England. Founded 1981.

Hunslet RLFC. Situated in the city of Leeds, the season ended with the team 10th on the table. They have a mid table look about them. Location North England. Founded 1883 & 1973.

Keighley Cougars. The club from West Yorkshire came in 7th last year and 7th in the playoffs as well. Qualifying for the playoffs should be their aim this year, at least. Location: North England. Founded 1876.

London Skolars.  11th was the final resting place for this club in 2017. They are based in the capital, London. Location: South England. Founded 1995.

Newcastle Thunder.  The team from the North East came in a creditable 6th last year. 5th was their position in the playoffs. Location: North England. Founded 1999 (as the Gateshead Thunder) & 2000.

North Wales Crusaders: Based in Wrexham, North Wales, they finished 9th in 2017. Location: Wales. Founded 2005 (in South Wales) & 2011.

Oldham RLFC: Situated by the city of Manchester in the county of Lancashire, they came down from the Championship in 2017. Location: North England. Founded 1876.

West Wales Raiders. Based in Llanelli, Wales this team has been nomadic since its inception. Hopefully it can settle down now. It finished 15th in 2017 when known as the South Wales Ironmen. Location: Wales. Founded 2009.

Whitehaven RLFC. Based in Cumbria in the North West of England just under the Scottish border. They came 2nd in 2017 behind the Toronto Wolfpack. They just missed out on promotion. Location: North England. Founded 1948.

Workington Town. Also based in Cumbria in the North West of England. They came 8th in both League One and the playoffs. Location: North England. Founded 1945.

York City Knights. Situated in North Yorkshire, they came 4th last year and that was where they finished in the playoffs. Location: North England. Founded 1868 & 2002.

So they are the teams. If you wonder why the founding dates are on occasion different, they were reformed for various reasons. The number of teams is down from 16 to 14 in 2018. The reason is two sides have folded but hope to return merged into a new club for 2019. For 2018, the competition is known as the Betfred League One.

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