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Reserve Grade confirmed for 2020

The Rugby Football League and Super League Europe can confirm that a Reserve Grade competition will be relaunched in 2020.

The 11 English Betfred Super League clubs have approved a proposal for all Super League clubs, and clubs with Category 1 funded Academies outside Super League (Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls), to have a mandated reserve team.

Five further applications from clubs in Betfred Championship and League One have been received, with decisions to be made by the end of July.

The launch of Reserve Grade will be accompanied by a change in the regulations surrounding the Academy, which will now become an Under-18s competition rather than Under-19s, as at present. The dual registration and loan systems will remain unaffected.

Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Interim Chief On-Field Officer, said:

“We have listened to the views of stakeholders – clubs, coaches and players – before making this proposal.

“The majority view is that the game would benefit from the reintroduction of a Reserve Grade competition, primarily as a next step in the development of players between Academy and senior rugby, but also to provide regular rugby for players on the fringe of selection, returning from injury, and a platform for later developers.

“It was important in making what is a significant change that we also took into account the impact on the other professional competitions – Betfred Championship and League One – and also the community game.”

Robert Elstone, Super League’s CEO, said:

“Super League is about superstars – players that get us on the edge of our seats, players that make our jaws drop, players that inspire us.

“Our success will depend on our ability to find, nurture and create the superstars of tomorrow.

“It’s why development pathways like this are so critical to the future success of the game.

“It is essential that we offer appropriate challenges to our young players on their journeys into Super League.

“A well-managed, resourced and competitive reserve grade will provide that.”

Lee Radford, the head coach of Hull FC who have continued to play reserve team fixtures in recent years despite the absence of a structured competition, said:

“I know from personal playing experience the value of reserve team rugby, and I’ve also seen it at Hull in the last few years. I signed for Bradford at 18 but didn’t become a regular first-teamer until 22 or 23, and without the years I had in reserves learning my trade, I might have been left in the wings.

“It gave me the grounding for first-team football, playing against some experienced Super League players. It also means clubs won’t be having to make difficult decisions on 19-year-olds, when some players – especially in the pack – tend to develop a bit later. I look at lads at Hull FC like Jamie Shaul, Chris Green and this season Kieran Buchanan, who have all benefited from reserve team rugby before getting their first-team chance.”

The Reserve Grade competition in 2020 will be administered by the RFL. The fixture schedule will be finalised during the winter but is expected to run on a home and away basis, with no play-offs.



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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