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RFL Reserves League to be shelved for 2020

As part of its ongoing dialogue and consultation regarding the impact of Coronavirus on the sport, the RFL has liaised with clubs regarding appropriate amends to the Operational Rules for 2020, and has also worked with clubs on arrangements for the Reserves League, (Under-18) Academy Championship and Under-16 Scholarships for the rest of the year. 

In consultation with clubs, the RFL has determined that the Reserves League should be cancelled for 2020. Clubs will still be encouraged to play friendly matches, and it is envisage that the competition will resume in 2021 – with all decisions to be taken in line with Government advice. 

The Reserves League was reinstated for 2020 to strengthen the game’s talent and performance pathway. 

With all Rugby League activity currently suspended, cancelling the remainder of the Reserves League fixtures scheduled for 2020 is a recognition of the need to focus on re-arranging postponed First Team Matches and to ensure player welfare and competition integrity.

The RFL has also consulted with clubs who have Academies regarding the ongoing competition structure for the Academy Championship and Scholarship – again, with any decisions to be made in line with Government advice.

Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, said: “We have had extensive discussions with clubs about how best to amend our schedules for the Reserves League, Academy Championship and Under-16s Scholarship in this unprecedented period, bearing in mind the three pillars of player welfare, competition integrity and financial sustainability. 

“We regarded the revival of a Reserves League as an important step forward this year, the clubs were supportive of that, and the season had started well until the abrupt suspension of all Rugby League activity last month. 

“We have to recognise that the priority for clubs whenever activity can resume will be completing the first team season, and that is why we have cancelled the Reserves League for 2020. 

“But equally, clubs are aware that they have invested in the return of Reserves, and made commitments to players, so we will be encouraging them to be imaginative in finding ways to provide competitive rugby for squad players, by arranging friendly fixtures which could involve pooling players between clubs, or even playing Nines matches or festivals. 

“We will also need to be flexible in terms of resuming the Academy Championship for Under-18s, and the Under-16s Scholarship programme, and we have already spoken to Heads of Youth about some possible changes to the schedule. 

“Public health remains the priority for the RFL and the sport, but we are also determined to ensure the game is ready to resume in the strongest possible way whenever that is appropriate, and the talented young players in our clubs’ Academies and scholarship programmes will have a big part to play in our future.”



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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.

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