YORK City Knights will be playing in the Championship again next year after Leigh Centurions were chosen to join Super League.

The Knights were one of six teams to have submitted applications to replace Toronto Wolfpack in English club rugby league's top tier.

A six-person panel chaired by Lord Jonathan Caine produced their unanimous ruling on Monday 14.

York City Knights wished Leigh well, tweeting: "Congratulations and best of luck to Leigh Centurions in Super League 2021. Give it your all."

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said: “The independent panel was impressed by Centurions’ application which scored highly on all published criteria.

“The club has a number of top-class players with Super League experience, a great stadium and a passionate and committed fan base, all of which will add to the 2021 competition.   

"I would like to thank Lord Caine for leading the process.  It has been robust and well-managed from the outset. The panel was unanimous in what it was looking for from the new club and unanimous in awarding the 12th place to the Centurions.

“The final decision points to both the strength of Leigh Centurions’ bid and the alignment throughout the process between Super League and The RFL."

Panel chairman Lord Caine said: “I was determined from the outset that this process should be robust and conducted to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and on the basis of ‘rigorous impartiality’ between each of the applicants. 

“I am more than satisfied that this was the case. 

“Each application was judged strictly but fairly against the agreed criteria that were circulated to clubs and published in November. 

“All of the applications were of high quality and I would like to pay tribute to the clubs for the energy and effort they have put into this exercise in what was of necessity a very short time period.”