Northern Rail Cup future in doubt

The RFL have confirmed that the future of the Northern Rail Cup is under review.
Northern Rail’s contract as competition sponsors ended following the 2013 final in July and with the sport’s league structure set to be remodelled from 2015 as part of the ongoing Policy Review, a decision is being considered about its place in the 2014 Kingstone Press Championships calendar.
RFL Director of Standards and Licensing Blake Solly said, “2014 is in many ways a transitional period for the Kingstone Press Championships and with Northern Rail’s contract having come to an end this year, we are considering the Cup’s place next season.
“This situation was discussed at the last Championships club meeting and it is possible that its omission for one year may allow a smoother transition into a new format from 2015.
“A number of Championship clubs have indicated that they would be happy for their season to comprise the 26 home and away fixtures in 2014 and we are working with the Championship One clubs on alternatives to increase the number of games they play should this decision be reached.
“The Northern Rail Cup has been a popular feature of the Championships clubs’ calendar since 2002 and its future form will largely be shaped by the outcome of the Policy Review but there are already exciting proposals for the Cup competition to be relaunched in a revised format from 2015.
“Northern Rail has expressed its desire to continue their long and successful association with Rugby League and is enthusiastic about what the sport can offer them in the future.”