Featherstone Rovers chief executive Martin Vickers given supporters an update about the controversial RFL decision to hand Toulouse the Championship League Leaders’ Shield.
The French side have played just 13 games in the second tier in 2021 and, despite winning every one of those fixtures, have not rearranged postponed matches – including one against Featherstone.
That has prompted Vickers to explain just why Rovers will not be travelling to the south of France until a potential final.
“The question I have been asked most by our fans in the last couple of weeks is around the location of the finals series, and I share fan’s concerns about the games being scheduled to be played potentially in France.
“It just seems unfair that a team playing only 12 games in a season avoiding the challenges of week in week out rugby are now given the added advantage of a potential home finals series. The travel conditions in France have allowed British Clubs to travel to France for the last 6 weeks, this in a period when most players have received both their vaccinations, yet an arbitrary date of 1st October which just so happens to be the start of the play-off series has been set for teams to now travel to France.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago for me when at the Toronto Wolfpack that had they been able to play in Super League in 2020 post COVID, were told to play home and away in the UK, yet just 12 months later we are faced with a contradictory approach. This can be very frustrating at times!”
Vickers was also keen to emphasise that Featherstone are primed for Super League.
“All Clubs have been encouraged by the Governing Body to seek rearrangement of postponed games towards the end of the season and there is no reason why a game can’t be played in France at the present time.
“As a Club we have been flatly refused on two occasions by Toulouse to replay our game on a weekend or mid-week which is a great disappointment for the whole game. I am scratching my head as to why this couldn’t have been arranged. As a game, we mustn’t lose any opportunity to showcase the very best of the sport with the best two teams in the Championship going head-to-head one more time.
“It was never going to be easy for Rovers to make that next step to Super League and I know this Club has dealt with far greater adversity in its 100-year history, we will deal with this in the usual Fev way and step up to the plate once more.”