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.


Club Cash Lottery

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there's never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why ? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back -- not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It's back this week and it's been won first time out, so next week's jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order -- our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

he easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

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