A SECOND Canadian club, Ottawa Aces, was officially launched yesterday, with lofty ambitions to follow Toronto Wolfpack into Super League.

The RFL confirmed Ottawa’s participation in Betfred League One from 2021 while at the same time announcing a 12-month delay for New York because it feels two trips to North America in one season would place unfair demands on part-time players.

Canadian Eric Perez, who founded Toronto in 2016 and oversaw their promotion to the Championship before making way for Australian billionaire David Argyle, unveiled the new club at a press conference in Ottawa.

The club, which was spawned through a relocation of former League One side Hemel to the Canadian capital, will play home games at the 24,000-capacity TD Place.

It was also confirmed at the conference, which was broadcast live on the RFL’s in-house television channel and attended by RFL chairman Simon Johnson, that all Ottawa’s home games will be streamed live on the Our League app.

As with Toronto, Perez says the Aces will be full-time from the start and fund all travel and accommodation costs for visiting teams ‘until collectively we all feel we don’t need to anymore’.

Perez also said the club will have a base in the UK and that former Hemel director of rugby Dean Thomas, a former player with Barrow Raiders, will have an administrative role. The team are likely to play blocks of home matches, starting towards the end of March, but have yet to appoint a coach and will wait until the June deadline for out-of-contract players to finalise signings.

The Aces will copy the model of Toronto, who achieved their initial five-year target of reaching Super League with two years to spare, while heeding the lessons of the Wolfpack, who have lost all six top-flight matches so far.