Paul Rowley suggests eight clubs could get Grade A under IMG as he admits Salford concern

IMG are set to come in and re-imagine rugby league part of this will be the introduction of a grading system which will determine which clubs participate in Super League.

The criteria for this re-introduction of licencing will be revealed in March with clubs set to vote in April.

Speaking ahead of the opening weekend of this year’s Super League season which sees his side head over to newly promoted Leigh Leopards, Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley called for a minimum criteria for all clubs.

He said on the club’s website: “Hopefully IMG put a minimum criteria in for all clubs, which they should do, and the pathways and the things that are in place now are from the good work of people in the background like Chris Irwin, John Fieldhouse and Stuart Wilkinson.”

He admitted concern about Salford’s pathways at present saying there are “unlikely” to get players ready for the first team:

“It’s getting things ready for when we can have a pathway, our pathway at the minute is unlikely to provide us with anything sufficient enough to start running out on the field with the first team. But it’s the blocks and infrastructure in place that when we can have a full pathway, then it’s ready to start working and over several years you should bear the fruits of your labour.

“It’s not one to get overly carried about at the minute in terms of providing players but the building blocks are in place for when we get that green light and are able to have a full pathway.”

In terms of the clubs he expects to get the top licences, the Grade A licences, Rowley suggested that eight clubs have ticked the boxes he thinks are important:

“Really I think any club who have been successful over the years, and there’s probably eight genuine clubs there that have probably ticked up that whole pathways, infrastructure, succession and finances and all them boxes which is what we’ve got to aspire to be.”

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