DONCASTER RLFC have joined forces with Super League giants Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The partnership is the latest in a series of link-ups between Super League and Co-operative Championship clubs, following the Rugby Football League’s decision to scrap the Super League Under-20 competition.
As part of the agreement, up to four Wakefield players will join promoted Doncaster on temporary deals for the 2013 season to aid their development.
The Dons also hope the link-up will help them become a major force in the Championship, with a series of commercial initiatives also set to be revealed in due course.
The clubs will meet in a pre-season friendly next month, and they are also set to share coaching ideas when the new campaign kicks off in the new year.
Doncaster and Wakefield representatives will confirm the partnership at a meeting at the Keepmoat Stadium today.
The two clubs already have a close bond. Wakefield fringe men Kieran Hyde, Russ Spiers, Danny Cowling and Lucas Walshaw all spent time as dual registered players at Doncaster last season, helping the club to win their first ever league title.
Dons chief executive Carl Hall is also a close friend of Wakefield chairman Andrew Glover, whose West Yorkshire Windows firm became a Dons shirt sponsor this year.
Hall said : “The Dons and the Wildcats share many characteristics in the way we operate and we’re both ambitious clubs that are striving to become the best we can be.
“I genuinely believe this partnership will go a long way to help us achieve these objectives and will be mutually beneficial and rewarding for both clubs.”
James Elston, Wakefield chief executive, said: “Doncaster is a club who, much like ourselves, have made some big strides over the last couple of years and we are both ambitious to kick-on further.
“It was a great experience for our younger players to be part of the success Doncaster enjoyed last year and we know from their experiences that it’s a fantastic club for our youngsters to develop.
“Off the field they have also made some big improvements and we look forward to working closely with them to help that continue.
“With so many similarities between the two clubs we think the partnership has the potential to be a great success.”
Several Super League sides have already struck up partnerships with Championship clubs.
Warrington Wolves have linked up with Swinton, while St Helen’s have joined forces with Whitehaven and Rochdale.
The link-ups follow the RFL’s decision to replace Under-20 and Under-18 competitions with a single Under-19s league.
The partnership is mutually beneficial. Wakefield will have an opportunity to blood their promising young players at a high level, while Doncaster’s squad will be strengthened by the arrival of several Super League starlets.
The initiative could also create a pathway for talented young players in Doncaster to be offered the opportunity to join up with the Super League giants.