RFL clarifies fledgling Player Development League

MARC LOVERING, the Head of Growth at the Rugby Football League, recently contacted youth and junior clubs in an effort to clarify the background to the recently-launched Youth & Junior Player Development League.

He said: “As a number of clubs have been in contact regarding the proposals I thought I would take the opportunity to explain the offer, and the possible opportunities it presents.”

Lovering continued: “The Player Development League offers a merit-style playing offer for youth and junior teams, without the requirement that they commit to a full playing season, or even a specified number of fixtures.

“It is designed to be as flexible as possible, and to make it as easy as possible for teams to play Rugby League in a way that suits them best.”

The RFL official further explained: “It would be entirely feasible for clubs in a region, who may have age groups/teams where playing numbers are low, that the Development League could provide an opportunity for that team to rebuild, rather than fold and lose players to other clubs.

“The emphasis is very much on development, not results, and getting games played (ie through matching numbers, loaning players etc, with the result very much secondary).

“Should we have a sufficient critical mass of clubs in any given area we will look to put in place a more structured offer if that is required.”