Ex-York pro to coach new club

YORK'S first amateur rugby league club playing in the summer season will be known as York Lokomotive RLFC and will be coached by a former player with Super League connections.

As revealed by The Press last year, the new outfit has been set up via a groundbreaking joint-venture between the former York Groves rugby league team and the York Railway Institute sporting club.

It was thought there was a gap in the market for a York team playing in the Rugby League (Summer) Conference, given all the city's other amateur teams play in the traditional British Amateur Rugby League Association winter season.

Groves were among them, until they quit BARLA after 39 years of playing in the winter term, believing they had a better chance of boosting playing numbers by switching to the summer arena.

And this new club have now been given the official go-ahead to play in the Rugby Football League-run competition, under the new name - to be often referred to as the Lokos - and playing out of York RI's sports ground in Hamilton Drive, Holgate.

The 2008 Summer Conference will be officially launched today as part of the build-up to the World Club Challenge between Leeds Rhinos and Melbourne Storm.

The Press can also reveal the Lokos will be coached by former York Wasps favourite Paul McDermott, the brother of Harlequins coach Brian McDermott, the former Rhinos star.

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The Lokos, who will play in red and white, have been placed in the RL Conference's Yorkshire division. Their first competitive game is away to Bridlington on May 10, and their first home game will be against Scarborough Pirates on May 23.

Their matches will be played on Saturday afternoons, with 3pm kick offs. The season ends in September.

Paul Boyne, a former Groves committee man, has previously stressed one of the key ideas behind the switch - which has been led by former Groves player-coach Simon Moat - was to get more players into rugby league, as opposed to relying on players from other amateur clubs doubling-up over the winter and summer, thus affecting those neighbouring clubs.

The Lokos would also not be opposed to rugby union players, from RI or elsewhere, giving the 13-a-side game a shot.

He said: "We're aiming to get lads from everywhere.

"I would like to see lads who've not played for a while come back to the game, or lads in second teams who would like to test themselves at first-team level.

"There is an opening for an amateur York club playing in the summer. If it gets more lads playing the game, that's even better. RI have been good to us and they're going to have a really good place up there. It's pretty exciting."

The Lokos' first training session will be on Thursday, at York RI, starting at 7pm. All are welcome to play or to assist in a training role.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the new club, or just wanting further information, can contact Lokos co-ordinator Simon Moat on 07828 816986, chairman Alistair Cole on 07966 119690, or the secretary on 07723 373259. Alternatively, visit the club website www.yorklokomotive.co.uk. This is currently under construction but has email address information.

* Heworth ARLC A' team's game at Oulton tomorrow has been put back a week to allow the Wakefield side to play a delayed cup tie.

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