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Merger: 'probably be the best way forward for both clubs'

A West Cumbrian sports reporter says the Rapley Report suggests a merger would "probably be the best way forward for both clubs".

Tom Carlisle from the News and Star says:

If a merger was to take place it would need the backing of the players, the fans, the clubs and all the major stakeholders".

– Tom Carlisle. News and Star

However the message from Whitehaven's board of directors is different, saying:

There is no overt recommendation of a merger within the report.

The possibility of a merger is no longer present"

– Whitehaven Board of Directors

Workington Town have so far declined to comment.


'The possibility of a merger is no longer present'

Whitehaven playing Workington Credit: ITV Border

Whitehaven Rugby League Club have denied the Rapley Report suggests the club should merge with rivals Workington Town.

Responding to the findings of Rapley report the club cites unhappiness at the funding for Championship clubs, before claiming:

the possibility of a merger is no longer present".

– Whitehaven Rugby League Club

The statement by the Board of Directors says:

It is pleasing that there is no overt recommendation of a merger within the report and thus we can continue down the path we have recently started of long term plans for the club".

– Whitehaven Board of Directors

The statement concludes: "With the above in mind and the possibility of a merger no longer present, the distraction of the Rapley report can be put behind us and the club can move forward with its own plans for expansion and re–development at the Recreation Ground".

Report into Rugby League future in west Cumbria to be released.

A match between local rivals Workington and Whitehaven Credit: ITV Border

The long awaited Rapley Report will be made public at noon.

The report was commissioned in 2013 by the RFL, Whitehaven and Workington Town Rugby clubs.

It is due to recommend how to take the clubs forward and make them thrive once more.

In recent years both cubs have struggled with attendance figures.

It's thought the idea of merging the two rival clubs into a 'super club' has been discussed.

Workington leapfrog Whitehaven in league table

There were mixed fortunes for the two teams. Credit: ITV Border

Workington Town leapfrogged Whitehaven RLFC in the Kingstone Press League One table this weekend.

Following on from their victory in the West Cumbria derby, Town beat the London Broncos 29-18, to go eighth in the table.

Whitehaven's slump continued. They went down 16-34 against Dewsbury Rams, and now sit tenth in the table.


WATCH: West Cumbria rugby league derby

Yesterday saw the big west Cumbrian derby between Whitehaven and Workington Town.

Local rivalry means this is always a big game but with both clubs fighting the threat of relegation the stakes could hardly have been higher and the stage was set for an epic encounter. For one set of supporters the reality was rather different. Ryan Dollard reports.

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