Yesterday, the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League – the first professional sports league to set up as a Co-Operative business – confirmed the three cities which will compete in and represent the Eastern Conference of their competition as the structure of the ground-breaking league becomes clear.
The CCCRL confirmed plans for a short-form tournament in the summer of 2022 which will take place in Toronto ahead of the first complete competition in 2023. The 2023 leagues will feature 12 teams – six male sides and six female sides – and will be divided into Eastern and Western Conferences. Although we’re still waiting for the Western sides to be confirmed, the men’s Eastern teams have now been revealed.
Those selected were chosen by the fans along with the organisation’s Board of Directors as the CCCRL looks to revolutionise the sport taking it to a new audience in Canada.
Famous cities Hamilton and Montreal join the obvious pick Toronto as the three cities in the Eastern Conference. Toronto already have a complicated history with rugby league after the Toronto Wolfpack climbed through the lower leagues to make their Super League debut in 2020 only for their dreams to unravel thanks to the financial issues stimulated by the pandemic.
However, the city is set for a rugby league re-birth in this new competition and their first rivals have been confirmed in the shape of Hamilton and Montreal.
This is just the first step in what should be an exciting development for rugby league especially when you consider that the new Canadian competition is the world’s first co-operatively owned professional rugby league competition and promises to employ over 100 people and expand the world of rugby league.