Reserve grade put on hold for next year

Reserve Grade will be scrapped next season, just one year after it was re-introduced.

League Express understands a decision has been made to not run the competition next year to help clubs save costs.

Instead, discussions are underway to bring back an Under-19s competition, which ran for several years before the return of reserve-grade last year.

It will replace the current Under-18s competitions which was running alongside the reserves competition this year.

Though the decision will be unpopular within the game, clubs deem it to be a necessary cost-cutting measure, with all Super League clubs set to miss out on £266,000 worth of Sky funding next year.

When debating its return last year, clubs anticipated costs would be in excess of £100,000, meaning its removal will help claw back a significant chunk of the deficit they face.

The RFL was keen to retain the competition but it has accepted the scale of the financial challenges facing clubs.

Plans are now in place to formalise the return of the under-19s competition, which will then go to the RFL board for ratification.