The Easter Weekend double-header will NOT take place in 2023.
A number of coaches and several players have expressed their criticism of the two games in three days and then three games in nine days schedule – and the Rugby Football League (RFL) has responded.
Sky Sports revealed tonight that the double-header on Easter Weekend will be scrapped for the sake of player welfare.
St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf has rested a whole host of first-team players in a bid to reduce the chance of injury for his more senior players.
“The French trip takes a lot out of you and we put a lot in that game to make sure we got a win there,” Woolf said earlier in the week.
“We were on a short turn around with that travel going into the biggest game of the year on Good Friday, the derby. A big game, a bruising game and emotionally takes it out of you.
“Then a two-day turn around which is the shortest in the competition to come out and beat a strong and committed Huddersfield side.
“That’s three games in nine days against the teams sitting second, third and fourth. That takes a lot out of you. I wasn’t prepared to turn around and ask our players to play another game on another short turnaround which would mean playing four games in 13 days.
“I think what it is, is we have a competition that doesn’t really protect the players. And when we’ve got that I need to make decisions to make sure I’m protecting my players.”