Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is disappointed for the club’s supporters after the Craven Park outfit were not chosen for promotion to the Championship. The Raiders had applied to join the Championship following Toronto Wolfpack’s expulsion from Super League. However, the Rugby Football League (RFL) confirmed yesterday that Newcastle Thunder were chosen by a five-strong panel to take the soon-to-be vacant Championship spot. “I’m just gutted for our fans,” Crarey began. “Our bid was absolutely fantastic.

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"I feel sorry for our supporters, Steve Neale, and the board, who have worked tirelessly over the last few years. “They’ve done amazing things; raised our income streams massively, the community work we do is second to none, the development work of players is the best in the division.” Doncaster, Rochdale Hornets and Workington Town had also submitted bids to the RFL. However, Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE, the former RFL President who chaired the panel, explained that Newcastle Thunder were the unanimous choice. He said: “The club’s coaching set-up and facilities are superb; its community outreach is well-established and growing. “Newcastle and the North East has considerable future growth potential, backed by its owner – as has already been recognised by the decision to play the Super League Magic Weekend at St James’ Park for a fifth time in 2021, and also by Rugby League World Cup 2021 with five fixtures to be played in the region.” Despite the disappointment, Crarey has vowed to secure promotion to the second tier in the upcoming 2021 season. He said: “We’ve got to knuckle down now and that’s concentrating on getting promoted. “We’re going to work hard as a club and it will be a tough league with Doncaster, Rochdale, Workington.

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“But we have just got to get on with it now and owe it to our fans to give it our best shot to go through the playing route and get up that way.” Next week, the RFL will announce which Championship club will join Super League next season. Applications are being considered from Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, Leigh Centurions, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique and York City Knights.