YORK Lokomotive ARLC are moving away from their York RI base on New Lane - to take rugby league back to Knavesmire.

Ahead of the new Yorkshire Men’s League season, the ground-breaking club are to take flight from RI and set up a new home at the South Bank Community Sports Centre at Bustardthorpe, playing games at York Racecourse.

This year they are also planning to introduce a number of junior sides - under-8s girls and boys, U12s boys and U16s girls - to add to youth teams at neighbours York Acorn, Heworth and New Earswick All Blacks.

Player and spokesman Tom Dunmore said: “The RI has been a brilliant base for us over the past seven years - we have made many friends there and we will forever be sincerely grateful for the RI’s contribution to help establish the Lokos as a club.

“We have had many turbulent times in our short history and the RI has stood by us through them, but the time has come to move on.

“There are an abundance of reasons why we are moving but, in the main, it is to leave the shadow of the RI to enable us to grow in our own environment, and we believe the time is right to become a stand-alone entity.”

Former clubs to have played on Knavesmire in the past include Southlands, Tramways, INL, the Locomotive and, back in the late 19th Century, York Football Club themselves - the original incarnation of what is now York City Knights. Acorn also started life there before they began building their Thanet Road complex.

The long-term plan for Lokos - who first came into being when the old York Groves club moved in with RI in 2008 to become York’s first amateur summer rugby league outfit - is to build a new clubhouse in conjunction with other sports clubs based at Bustardthorpe.

Dunmore said: “The committee at the Lokos has identified many benefits of this move.

“There is scope to achieve a lot at our new base, and there is also the possibility of having our own clubhouse in the future.

“Although it may be a little step back in terms of facilities at present - as those at RI are great - there is the potential to expand and improve on those.

“This move is a massive opportunity for the club it will not only allow us to grow but will hopefully give us our own permanent base to do that from.”

The new-look Yorkshire Men’s League format sees Lokos in a division with Keighley Albion, Knottingley Worms, Leeds Akkies, Ossett Trinity, Ovenden, Slaithwaite Saracens and Victoria Rangers, with games kicking off next month.

The club’s second string, Lokomotive Athletic, are also in a merit league.