Reserves return would weaken our academy, says Hetherington

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has spelled out why he is not keen on the much-discussed reserve grade making a return next season.

Hetherington told the Yorkshire Post that he believes bringing back reserve action would significantly weaken the club’s academy – something he already believes does as good a job as the reserve competition.

And he insists that reintroducing reserves would have a negative impact on their academy structure, and would weaken that setup.

“Our reserve grade is delivering and doing what it is exactly there for – to deliver players of the future for the Super League competition and, in many cases, for the Championship as well,” he said.

“I think it’s working better than we could have hoped.

“We’re now delivering a pretty strong academy – better than we’ve ever had before – and to supplement that with another team would actually significantly weaken that going forward, and also weaken the Championship, too.”