KEIGHLEY Cougars have entered into a historic partnership with the Canadian Rugby League Association. The agreement will see a number of initiatives change between both organisations and will look to enhance the club’s status.
On the partnership, Canadian Rugby League Association Board Member and Keighley Cougars supporter Darren Mabbott said: “The new board of directors at Canada Rugby League wanted to form some new partnerships to expand the brand of Canada and hopefully Keighley aswell.
“Because of the early 90’s during the height of Cougarmania people in Rugby League still have a soft spot for Keighley. Rugby League wouldn’t be what it is today without the Cougars and the level of popularity the club still has, means this partnership can only go from strength to strength.
“The overall aim though for the partnership is more publicity for the Canadian game and the Cougars and form a working partnership for players in the Canadian domestic game and have some of them come to the UK and train with Keighley.
“The Cougars faced the Toronto Wolfpack last year and the Wolfpack have taken Rugby League in Canada up to a completely different level in terms of the standard of the game.
“Outside of the Wolfpack, there’s 12 teams across Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia in the domestic competition but this link with Keighley will hopefully make the domestic game stronger and produce a better quality of player.
“The 2025 World Cup is a major event for Canada and the United States as it’s not a traditional nation and will take the profile and standard of the game in both countries up. It will increase as it will provide valuable for experience for everyone involved to test themselves against the top nations such as Australia, England and New Zealand.
“It was my suggestion to forge the partnership with the Keighley Cougars as I’m a supporter of the club for 30 years and after speaking to Craig Lingard, things are looking good.”