Keighley Cougars have expressed their dismay after the RFL rejected their application to join the revamped Reserve Grade competition.
The League 1 club, who have run a reserve grade since 2015, were forced to apply for their application due to not being in Super League or holding Category 1 Academy status.
Their application has now been rejected, along with Whitehaven, which has left a bad taste in the mouth of the Cougars.
Haven have yet to comment while Fax have said they will make an announcement by the end of the week.
Following previous tweet, am also told that Whitehaven has been rejected in bid to run a reserves team next year, with club statement to follow. What could/should have been a hugely positive step for the sport will be tainted if clubs are prevented from developing own players
— Gareth Walker (@garethwalker) August 6, 2019
In an open letter, Keighley’s reserves head coach Dean Muir said: “Regardless of what is said in the press over the coming days and weeks, the simple truth is that without the Keighley Cougars and Halifax RL since 2015, there would have been no reserve grade competition as we have been the backbone who kept the competition running when barely anyone at Super League level cared.
“For us as a club, a club that has produced a number of first team players for both our club and others through the reserve grade, this is a heartbreaking decision and one that will set the Keighley Cougars back in being able to develop our own homegrown players.”
It continued: “Despite the fact the club is launching a Category 3 Academy starting from this September, the pathway between college-age and open age has now been cut and with Rugby League being a late maturation sport, it means our timescale and opportunity to help develop these players has now been damaged.”