Northampton Town FC to run rugby league team from 2013

The Rugby Football League has confirmed Northampton Town FC will enter a team in the semi-professional Championship One competition from 2013.

The new team will be owned and run by the League Two side and will play at their Sixfields ground.

Northampton have also announced a link-up with Super League club Wakefield.

"There is great potential here and the club is based on solid foundations," RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer told BBC Radio Northampton.

"There are thousands of rugby league supporters in the region who attend major RFL events such as the Challenge Cup Final and now they have a team on their doorstep we hope they get behind the new team.

"Northampton are the first club past the post and we're looking forward to naming the other three new clubs over the coming months."

Cobblers chairman David Cardoza, who hopes to raise the capacity of Sixfields, said: "Northamptonshire is something of a centre for sport, and this is an ideal opportunity for us to add to the town's ever-growing sporting portfolio.

"The infrastructure for the rugby league club will come from the current football club staff, duplicating and expanding the roles they currently hold.

"We believe this represents a superb chance to attract more people to Northampton and to Sixfields in particular as the stadium becomes ever more a 24/7 venue."

Northampton already has a rugby league team, Northampton Demons, who were Co-operative Conference regional champions in 2009 and 2010.

Demons first-team manager Gary Campbell thinks the formation of a new team in the town will provide a good opportunity for his players to progress into the professional game.

"The Northampton area has an abundance of talented young rugby players," he said.

"Northampton Demons not only see this as a fantastic opportunity to professionally develop the club at senior level, but to also offer these youngsters a route into professional sport."

The Demons run two men's teams and six youth and junior sides.

There are currently four players from Northampton at professional clubs who have come up through the ranks - Dan Brotherton (St Helens Under-20s), Will Lovell and Matt Meek (London Broncos Under-20s) and Jamie Cottle (Sheffield Eagles).