Kingstone Press Cider are the official new title sponsor of the Championship and Championship One rugby league competitions after agreeing a two-year deal with the Rugby Football League – in a timely boost.

The league kicked off last weekend without an official sponsor but an announcement was made yesterday to confirm they will be known as the Kingstone Press Championships from now on.

Kingstone Press Cider is the major brand of Aston Manor Cider, the second largest cider maker in the UK, and will also be an official partner of the England rugby league team.

No figure has been put on the deal, but the RFL say the brewer will “invest a significant budget to work with the RFL and Championships clubs to promote their brand, the competitions, the sport and England Rugby League”.

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: “We are delighted to welcome Kingstone Press Cider and Aston Manor on board as the official title sponsor of the 2013 Championships.

“This exciting competition continues to grow in stature and with a new geographical footprint for 2013, it’s clear it has become an even more attractive commercial proposition.

“Every year the Championships deliver some of the most enthralling and enjoyable action in British sport.”

Aston Manor Cider managing director Gordon Johncox said: “We are excited to have joined the rugby league family and eager to work with the RFL as they look to extend the appeal and audience for such a great sport.”

Rugby League’s sponsorship portfolio for 2013 already includes Heinz, Foxy Bingo, Rhino Rugby, Marriott Hotels and Tetley’s.