Super League club forced to cancel reserves fixture as they routinely struggle to name team

In recent times we have seen big names like Jake Connor, Harvey Livett and Matty English play for Huddersfield Giants reserves whilst clubs like Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and St Helens prepare the next generation of superstars.

We have seen the likes of Jack Sinfield learn their trades in the reserves competition as well as now Warrington Wolves Super League regular Matty Nicholson who frequently played for Wigan’s reserves in 2022. Meanwhile, Nicholson’s Warrington teammate Connor Wrench used reserves to battle back from injury.

At Hull FC we have seen the same with the likes of Jamie Shaul whilst Tony Smith has used the reserves to play the likes of Andre Savelio and Brad Dwyer into form.

Reserves rugby is still finding its feet after it spent years on the shelf with a switch to dual registration in years gone by linking the biggest clubs in Super League like Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, St Helens and of course the Rhinos with teams in the Championship whom they could loan their players to briefly.

But reserves rugby is back in Super League yet many have their problems with it. Whilst Huddersfield field hundreds worth of appearances in their team other sides don’t often creating one sides affairs.

Some Super League coaches like Ian Watson and Hull KR’s Willie Peters have been critical of the concept believing it isn’t a high enough level to develop players.

Among the problems is one for Leigh Leopards. They have routinely been unable to field a team and once again this weekend there reserves fixture is off.

This weekend they were supposed to take on Salford Red Devils this weekend in what is a big weekend for the club as they meet St Helens at the home of Warrington Wolves: Halliwell Jones Stadium in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

This has happened routinely in 2023 and is not a good look for the reserves.

However, we shouldn’t be critical of Leigh, they have worked incredibly hard to get an academy going as confirmed by Derek Beaumont recently.

The Leigh owner is determined to get the Leopards an academy in the near future.

Beaumont recently hit back at this criticism revealing that the club are doing all they can but you “can’t invest” in a bank that won’t let you.

He said:

“You can’t invest in a bank that won’t let you open an account! It’s wrong to criticise the club. We are on a Journey now with the RFL regarding this which we hope will enable us to open that account and invest in an academy soon. Until then we will support the best we can.”

The club are clearly putting plans in place for a proper academy but are currently not allowed to have one.

This is not the first time a Super League club has been in a situation like this but it is good to see so many working towards amending it.

Speaking on The Last Tackle lately, Beaumont underlined his academy goals:

“That’s what I want and I want to build a youth structure, I want it to be a bigger picture. In the end, that was what got him.

“The players, the young, good players that the top sides were in for, we were competing with Wigan and Saints for players now.”