SKIPTON are one of the Craven district’s most renowned rugby union clubs, but now one of their players is trying to cross the divide by starting up a team in the opposite code.

Darren Greenwood has created the Skipton Knights, with the idea of it being able offer union players a chance to keep active in the summer off season.

With a lack of rugby league teams in the the area too, interest should be high once everything begins to settle down.

Greenwood has experience in forming new sides after setting up Cowling Harlequins in 2002.

Despite the club having to fold two years ago, his 16-year spell made him the perfect candidate when someone from Skipton suggested the idea.

He said: “Cowling was too much for me and my dad.

“I was spending more time with Cowling than I was with my family, so something had to give.

“I went to Skipton and loved it. They have a fantastic facility (Sandylands). I am a Keighley lad and like to go out of my comfort zone.

“I didn’t want to get back into coaching (after playing for King Cross Park in Halifax), but Skipton asked me if I wanted to do anything. I asked a few lads who said they would be up to it.

“As we are in North Yorkshire we have got Skipton, Wharfedale and North Ribblesdale. There is a lot of lads not doing a lot in the summer.

“It is a bit of fitness and it will let me play with the lads that I have done throughout the winter.

“If you are a new player to rugby and, you like it, you can always play rugby union in the winter too. It works for both clubs.”

After already having three training sessions, numbers have been good with 14/15 players attending each time.

The Knights hope to play a few friendlies before the year is out to make players and potential sponsors aware of the club.

Greenwood is pleased with the uptake so far but knows it is a fine line in amateur sport with participation numbers decreasing in recent years.

He added: “We just want to get people playing especially with what has gone on.

“If it works, it works, but I am not going to chase it.

“Commitment in all sports at the moment is struggling. If people come, I will give it a good go.

“We are still following the government and Rugby Football League guidelines so we are training in groups of six.

“It is working really well, hopefully, depending on what the RFL say, the restrictions might change soon.

“The hope is to get at least one game this summer. I have advertised to sponsors this year and said it is a two year deal so it will carry over.

“If it works this summer we will try again next year. If it builds from there hopefully we will be able to commit to a league where we have regular fixtures.

“You have got to have a product that keeps people. I don’t want to put pressure on people because that is when you become reliant on them.”