RFL back reserve grade plans

The RFL have advocated the idea of a fully-functioning reserve grade system.

In a statement, chief executive Ralph Rimmer supported the idea, although claimed it’s up to the clubs themselves to make the decision.

“Reserve Grade playing opportunities are a vital component of the player pathway and the national governing body has been a strong advocate of this for a number of years,” Rimmer said.

“The decision sits with clubs and the Rugby Football League can extend and develop the competition framework accordingly, alongside robust arrangements for dual-registration which support player development and protect the community game.

“It is also a vital part of growing the game geographically. I am confident that we are going to see more clubs join the Reserves competition next season and beyond.”

Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Head of Coaching and Player Development added: “We have always believed that there needs to be a transition between age-banded and senior Rugby League.

“For many, the absence of regular competitive games means that they are not achieving their full potential. Reserve Grade Rugby League offers this.

“We have always worked in collaboration with clubs who would like to develop their players via Reserve Grade. From a Player Development perspective, insight from all stakeholders tells us that a second tier of competition within the club environment will optimise the development of players so that when they move up to First Grade they are better prepared for its demands.”