Sale spells end for Rugby Leaguer merger with rival

Rugby Leaguer magazine has been sold to League Publications and is to be merged into its main rival League Express.

It is understood staff have been offered alternative jobs by Johnston Press, which acquired the title when it bought Regional Independent Media last month.

The title relied on a large number of freelances including its chief writer and rugby commentator Ray French.

The new weekly will be relaunched as Rugby Leaguer & League Express. It will appear on news-stands with a new masthead and logo on Monday.

Martyn Sadler, managing editor and chairman of League Publications, said: "Acquiring the Rugby Leaguer was a very attractive proposition, once we were given the opportunity to buy.

"We are hoping to break new circulation records with this new acquisition. We want to reach everybody who is interested in rugby league."

Rugby Leaguer Express has a circulation of around 30,000. League publications also owns the website totalrugbyleague.com.

By Ruth Addicott

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