Record number of rugby league Academies rated as ‘outstanding’, RFL reveals

Following an independent accreditation process, which monitors the performance and progression of 13 junior development programmes, a record eight clubs have been assessed as ‘Outstanding’ in 2017 – three more than last year.

Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings and Wigan Warriors have retained their ‘Outstanding’ rating and have been joined by Catalans Dragons, City of Hull Academy and Huddersfield Giants.

An evaluation of ‘Outstanding’ represents a level of performance which exemplifies best practice and implies that these very high levels of performance are sustainable and will be maintained.

All 13 Academies have been awarded licences – which is funded by Super League –  to run for four years through to 2020 and are measured against that and their current practice.

Rugby Football League Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer, said: “Eight clubs achieving an ‘Outstanding’ rating is fantastic news for the sport – they should all be extremely proud of themselves along with the other clubs who have made significant improvements over the last 12 months.

“It’s promising to see Catalans, City of Hull Academy and Huddersfield up there and the work they’re doing with the players coming through their Academies.

“Standards across the Academy competition are always improving and this is down to the co-operation and commitment from all teams during the accreditation process.”

This is the sixth year that the Academy accreditation audit has taken place. The process is focused on three key areas: quality of leadership and management; how well Academies meet the needs of players; and the delivery of the player development system.

The clubs not given an ‘Outstanding’ rating were:

  • Bradford Bulls – ‘requires improvement’
  • Castleford – ‘good’
  • London – ‘good’
  • Newcastle – ‘good’
  • Wakefield Trinity – ‘requires improvement’