RFL reveal reserves line-up for 2020

Newcastle Thunder, Halifax RLFC, Bradford Bulls and Widnes Vikings have all been accepted into the Reserve Grade competition for 2020.

Bradford and Widnes both have Category 1 funded Academies while Newcastle and Halifax were recognised for their commitment to maintaining a reserve team and producing academy products.

They will make up a 15-team competition along with all the current Super League clubs (excluding Catalans Dragons).

Current dual-registration and loan systems will remain unaffected by the new Reserve Grade with the academy competition reverting to an Under-18s set-up.

The announcement comes after Reserve Grade applications from Keighley Cougars and Whitehaven were rejected by the RFL last week.

On the conclusion of reviewing applicants for the 2020 reserves set-up, RFL interim chief on-field officer Dave Rotheram revealed why the two bids to join were rejected.

He said: “We have explained to Keighley Cougars and Whitehaven that their applications fell short in meeting some of the essential criteria including that the proposed supply of players for both clubs would have significantly relied upon recruiting players from the community game.

“We will continue to support them, and other clubs, as we monitor the return of the structured Reserve Grade competition next season – which as stated previously, is seen as a vital step in the talent and performance pathway, developing high quality players for Super League and England.”

Reserve Grade 2020: Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Halifax, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors