Lee Radford explains the problem with reserves

There has been a big debate about the quality of reserves rugby at the moment.

Many have suggested that the quality isn’t high enough to provide decent game time to players outside of the first 17.

This is why many players have been sent on dual registration in recent weeks.

However, Castleford Tigers boss Lee Radford has given his view of the reserves:

“We have kids like Sam Hall for example who missed out on pre-season friendlies because he carried a suspension over, so to get his season up and running is an absolute must for us. There’s plenty of players in our squad who needs some minutes.

“Ideal world they’d have never got rid of it many many moons ago. I think now with what’s happened with dual reg, the detriment is that we’re sending players out on dual reg or on loan instead of playing reserves. But sometimes when you look at the scorelines of the reserve games the standard probably isn’t where we all want it to be.

“Also if you’re bringing kids in from amateur there’s a knock-on effect to the amateur game and you get a kick back from the amateur clubs as well. Ideally we’d want it thriving and as many kids playing as we possibly can. Unfortunately it usually goes down as resources being the reason for it not being as strong as it usually can be.”

Meanwhile, Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith revealed that two players who dropped out of his 21-man squad this week would play in the reserves:

“Luis and Leon are playing reserves tomorrow night to get some match practice and get some work under their belt having not played last week.”

When asked if the level is high enough for his players, Smith said:

“I’m not going to make too many comments about the reserves competition. We have multiple different ways to get players who aren’t selected in the Super League team game time. Whether that’s Championship dual reg with Bradford, loan somewhere, reserves or academy. We’ll do what we think is right for each individual player to jeep them improving and keep them ready.

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