Dragons anticipate Brexit
French Rugby League Clubs consider relocation to Channel Islands due to Brexit
In a momentous week for the UK which saw British Prime Minister, Theresa May, trigger Article 50, plans have begun which could see Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique XII relocate to the Channel Islands.
The two clubs are keen to understand the implications of continuing to compete in the Betfred Super League & Kingstone Press Championship post Brexit.
Whilst attentions in the UK have been centred around what it means for us, the two league clubs from across the Channel have been wondering the same. Could a move to the British Isles be on the cards? It’s certainly under consideration.
Over the coming months scouting missions will be undertaken by representatives from both clubs as they search for a solution should the removal of the UK from the EU create visa and logistical headaches for the clubs and players.
Several potential locations have been identified for the French teams including bases in Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. A possible Welsh option has been mooted by Catalans as they look to retain their moniker of Dragons and Toulouse are keen to move to an area that has a strong Olympic connection, with Weymouth being mentioned as a realistic possibility. The early favourite of both clubs however appears to be a relocation to Guernsey and Jersey to create a Channel Islands derby.
A game insider said “The next two years are critical for the future of elite level Rugby League competition in the northern hemisphere”
“With the emergence of Toronto Wolfpack, there is also the outside option of North America, with Toulouse’s twin city Atlanta a possibility.”
"The clubs started to seriously consider a move this week following the triggering of Article 50 and wanted to make it public on 1st April so their supporters were clear of their planned way forward”.