Usually for double header weekends in Super League, suspensions incurred in the first game don’t come into force until the Round after the double headers as is the case at Easter meaning any bans picked up on Good Friday don’t come into force until after Easter Monday.
However, the RFL have made a change to this as Super League heads into a double header weekend over Rounds 25 and 26 as the season draws to a close.
They’ve also revealed when clubs will be required to announce their 21-man squads this weekend with some teams only having two days between games this week.
Here’s the full update from the RFL:
“The RFL have informed Betfred Super League clubs of specific arrangements regarding Rounds 25 and 26 which will be played between Wednesday August 24 and Bank Holiday Monday (August 29).
“The 10 clubs playing their Round 26 fixtures on August 29 will not be required to submit 21-man squads until noon on Sunday August 28.
“For Hull and Toulouse, who play the only Round 26 fixture on August 28, the deadline will be 10am also on August 28.
“For the five Round 25 matches being played on August 24-25, the Match Review Panel will meet on the morning of Friday August 26. Any charges will be considered at an Operational Rules Tribunal on Saturday August 27. Clubs will have until 11am on the day of the ORT to challenge charges, as normal.
“The Wigan versus St Helens match being played on August 26 will be reviewed the following morning – and again, any charges will be considered at an ORT hearing later that day. The clubs will have until 1.30pm, or three hours after charges are notified – whichever is later – to decide whether to challenge any charges.
“This will mean that any suspensions incurred in Round 25 will become live for Round 26 – as opposed to the case in previous double header weekends, when ORT hearings have not taken place until after both rounds. This was thought especially important given the late stage of the season, with Play-Offs imminent.
“The Match Review Panel will consider incidents from next weekend’s Betfred Championship and League One fixtures as normal on Thursday September 1.”
Certainly the correct decision from the RFL as it ensures players won’t be forced to miss play-off matches for offences that occurred well in advance of the finals.
Teams have also been given as much time as possible to assess the fitness of their squad and name their 21-man squad for the Sunday and Monday games which again can only be beneficial.
The RFL has also confirmed that they expect disciplinary for Round 24 to be announced in advance of Leeds and Huddersfield’s squad confirmation for Wednesday’s game with both clubs required to announce their squads on Monday at midday.