YORK Acorn ARLC are preparing for their television debut after being one of the first teams to be picked for live broadcast on a new weekly amateur rugby league slot.

Acorn's Kingstone Press National Conference League division one match against Bradford Dudley Hill on Saturday, March 24, will be shown live on FreeSports, a free-to-air channel available on Freeview and Sky, with the match kicking off at 4.30pm.

The programme is part of the Rugby AM TV show portfolio, with the NCL, the elite competition in amateur rugby league, having secured a two-year deal with the broadcasters.

More than 30 NCL games will be aired live throughout the 2018 season, starting this Saturday with the premier division clash between Wigan St Patricks and champions Thatto Heath Crusaders. The weekly programmes will start at 4.15pm and the games at 4.30pm, after the regular 2.30pm matches have finished.

Acorn kick off their division one campaign a week on Saturday against pre-season favourites Featherstone Lions.

They are already planning for the TV game, including ordering advertising boards and marketing the match to supporters.

Coach Leigh Paul-Rientoul said of the new broadcasting agreement: "It's great promotion for the amateur game. There will be some really good matches and there are a few derby clashes as well, which will be good to watch.

"We're delighted to be chosen. It's great for our sponsors and we're trying to get a big crowd down for it.

"It will lift the players as well who will want to show up well. It gets a bit of added excitement going on."

In addition to the weekly televised league matches, the NCL will also stage two War of the Roses games as preludes to the Rugby AM Legends games, which will also be broadcast live. The Roses matches will feature representative players from Yorkshire clubs taking on their counterparts from Lancashire.

Rugby AM was founded by Alex Simmons and is co-owned by Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Jones-Buchanan.