RFL statement: Policy review

Date published: Monday, June 24, 2013

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood has voiced his excitement at the positive dialogue that is taking place across all levels of Rugby League as part of the ongoing Policy Review that will determine the sport’s structure from 2015 onwards.

A number of options were presented to the Super League clubs, Kingstone Press Championships clubs and Community game at a series of meetings in May and further proposals were circulated following feedback from a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

The Super League clubs met last Monday to debate the merits of the three options published last month and to receive details of a revised version of the option that involves two divisions of 12 clubs splitting into three groups of eight at the end of each season.

This improved option was revised in response to much of the stakeholder feedback received and would see the Super League clubs in a 12-team competition play each other home and away, plus a Magic Weekend fixture, before the top eight contest an extended play-off that culminates in the Grand Final.

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “I am encouraged and excited by the way in which the clubs are taking this opportunity to engage in positive and proper debate as we look to restructure the professional game from the 2015 season.

“The Super League clubs engaged in a full and open debate at Monday’s meeting when there was an acceptance that change of some kind needs to occur.  There was also a widespread recognition that sustaining 14 clubs is proving challenging in the current economic climate.

“The RFL’s Policy Review is intended to provide an independent evaluation of the various alternatives that are available to the professional game so that the competitive structure from 2015 is as commercially compelling as possible.

“For that to happen there needs to be some degree of jeopardy and an acknowledgement that on-field performance is the key determinant of which league a team plays in.

“I am confident the sport as a whole, through proper debate, will deliver a very exciting future for Rugby League. I now expect the debate to continue to develop further at the forthcoming RL Council meeting, where it will involve all sections of the game.”

Details of the revised option, whereby two divisions of 12 split into three groups of eight, were circulated to the Championships clubs and Community game in midweek ahead of the RL Council meeting on July 3, when representatives will receive a full presentation.