Hemel players to miss play-off game because of timing

Hemel Stags have been dealt a major blow ahead of their do or die play-off encounter against Gateshead on Sunday night, after it was revealed that some of their players are unable to make the trip due to the timing of the kick-off.

League Express reported on Monday that Hemel had attempted to get the RFL to intervene over a dispute relating to the time of the game between Gateshead and Hemel – which will be played on Sunday night at 6pm, after Newcastle Falcons face London Irish in the Premiership.

Coach Troy Perkins initially told League Express that it wasn’t right to expect players to commute over five hours to get home on Sunday night, and then get up for work on Monday morning.

The Stags had asked for the game to be played at 3pm on either Saturday or Sunday, but have since accepted the RFL’s decision to uphold the kick-off time. However, Perkins did admit that because of the bizarre kick-off time, he will be without some of his squad for the trip – as it is impossible for them to get back from the North East in good time.

“I’ve got three or four players that won’t be able to make the trip due to work commitments first thing Monday morning in London,” he said.