Players wanted for new rugby league team
It may not have been the best weather for playing rugby in recent weeks but one east London club is already planning for warmer times.
Phantoms Rugby Club are launching a rugby league side as a sister club to the union outfit currently playing in Essex League Two.
The West Ham-based club hope the new section will help boost interest in the sport and bring much-needed new recruits to the club.
Phantoms chairman David Yems is one of the committee members charged with overseeing the formation of the new section, and he's excited about it.
He said: "We've been working on setting up the club since the autumn because we feel rugby league is under-represented in London.
"The club took part in competitive touch rugby last summer, a sport very close to league, and it paid dividends in terms of fitness, defensive alignment and running lines and it was agreed a full contact version in this summer could only be a good thing.
"Also, a number of the current playing squad, mostly from Australia, are experienced in league and it seems a wasted opportunity to not get them onto the field playing for the Phantoms in the sport."
The club will be called Phantoms RL and will play home games at Memorial Park in West Ham, where the union side is based. Yems felt it was important to be able to use the same ground for the summer code, but stressed the two clubs are separate.
He said: "It was so important to keep a base in West Ham. It's great for the players to use familiar facilities and geographically we have secured a great position for recruitment, especially from Canary Wharf.
"We don't want to lose the connection between the two sides, and we expect players to make appearances for both teams, but they will be run as seperate entities".
Phantoms are now looking for sponsors for the league side and Yems hopes Wharf companies will be tempted.
He said: "Now is the perfect time to get involved. Sponsors would have their name on our new strip and equipment, and would feature in our club programme website. It's a great opportunity to support a local team."
Anyone interested in sponsoring or playing for Phantoms RL should contact David Yems on 07949614654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.