Workington Town have lost out on their bid to join Whitehaven in next year's Betfred Championship.

The RFL Board announced yesterday that they have accepted a recommendation to promote Newcastle Thunder in 2021 to fill the vacancy that will be left in the Championship when one club is promoted to the Betfred Super League to replace Toronto Wolfpack.

Town had submitted a bid to gain promotion and chairman Les Smallwood said that although the club was disappointed they were now even more determined to gain promotion on the field at the end of 2021.

He said: "Obviously we are disappointed because we felt we produced a strong bid.

"We’re doing a lot of good things on and off the pitch and we’ll continue to do that.

"One thing the application process did do is help us to highlight the areas that we still need to tweak and improve – as well as well as reinforcing the positive work the board are doing in may areas in challenging times.

"We’ll just have to do it the traditional way and get promoted at the end of 2021."

The RFL appointed a five-strong panel to consider applicants from the five Betfred League 1 clubs who met a number of necessary qualifying criteria – against five further criteria.

Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE, the former RFL President chaired the panel.

And he explained: “Newcastle Thunder was the unanimous choice of the panel, for an outstanding application.

"On behalf of the panel, I thank and congratulate all five clubs who submitted applications.

"The applications were comprehensive, thorough, they showed aspiration and ambition, and they were very honest.

“I hope the four clubs who have missed out will see this as an opportunity to press for promotion in 2021."