Tag: RFL

Joint statement: RFL, Super League and clubs discuss future direction

Discussions on the future direction of the game have today been held between the RFL and Super League Europe, and clubs from the Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1. 

Subjects covered included progress towards the realignment of Super League Europe and the RFL, central funding distribution to clubs, and potential competition structures and new competitions to help grow the game commercially.

RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, says: “We are all – Super League Europe, clubs and the RFL – focused on the future. All of us involved in these discussions today want the very best for their clubs, players, fans and the whole game.

“The collective approach has been positive and constructive, and there will be further consultation with clubs in the coming days.”

SLE Interim Chairman, Ken Davy, adds: “The emphasis of today’s meeting was to provide a platform for discussion on several key areas of the sport, which can be the catalyst to drive the game forward in the coming years.

“The whole game approach to these discussions is testament to the importance placed on ensuring we deliver a compelling, long-lasting structure for the whole sport.

“The next two years are absolutely vital for the sport. We need to continue to make Rugby League an attractive sport to supporters, broadcasters, viewers and commercial partners.

“Ultimately, this sport is about the players on the pitch, and the excitement and drama they create.“

Super League and the RFL will make a further announcement as consultations with clubs progress.

Rugby league fans urged to follow the Wembley template

Today’s fourth step in the UK Government’s Covid roadmap allows for venues returning to full capacity, with no social distancing. 

That means another significant step back to normality for rugby league clubs and fans in this week’s fixtures, starting with the Betfred Women’s Super League match between York City Knights and Wigan Warriors at Odsal tonight – and continuing through the Betfred Super League, Championship, League 1 and the Community Game. 

Throughout the pandemic, the RFL has been working closely with Government and with clubs and other stakeholders – and that has continued in the preparations for Stage 4. 

Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said: This week is another big step back to normality for our clubs and fans, and it comes at a positive time for the sport as we reflect on the success of the weekend at Wembley. 

“We have been grateful since the limited return of fans to grounds in recent weeks for the way our clubs and fans have worked together in a responsible manner, and the weekend was a great example of that. 

“To be included in the Government’s Events Research Programme allowed us to welcome a much higher crowd to Wembley than would otherwise have been the case, and the supporters of the four clubs involved – Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, St Helens and York City Knights – as well as the thousands of neutrals who attend our Challenge Cup Final weekend were a credit to the game. 

“This year that involved providing evidence of either a negative Covid-19 test or of having had a double vaccination to gain entry to the stadium – and while that won’t be required to attend regular league matches this week now we have reached Stage 4, we would still encourage supporters to bear in mind Government guidance where possible. 

“The Government refers to Stage 4 as ‘a new phase of continued caution whilst managing the risks of COVID-19’. We all owe it to each other to be as safe and responsible as possible to restrict the spread of the virus. 

“The same applies to all involved in the Community Game, whether as players or spectators. Again, Stage 4 of the Roadmap involves the removal of a number of restrictions – and again, we are urging clubs and players to implement these changes cautiously and responsibly.” 

Rugby League is joining other sports in requesting supporters to bear the following in mind before attending games: 

·       Do not attend if you have symptoms or are in any doubt about your health. 

·       Please vaccinate where possible to maximise protection to fellow supporters and members of staff.  Vaccination remains a key priority in the response to the pandemic. 

·       Use the Government’s offer of free lateral flow tests; consider taking one before you travel. 

·       If travelling via public transport, please adhere to the relevant guidance. 

·       Respect the rules of the venue you are attending and check in advance to see what is required. 

·       Wear face coverings in busy indoor areas  

·       Ensure you are familiar with social distancing restrictions where these apply  

·       Treat stewards with respect and respond to their requests. 

The RFL is continuing to work with clubs to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all. 

Salford Red Devils’ next home game comes on Thursday 29 July, when we welcome Hull Kingston Rovers to the AJ Bell Stadium.

CLUB STATEMENT REGARDING KRISNAN INU

After the recent social media activity of Krisnan Inu which brought the club into disrepute, an internal investigation was carried out involving a disciplinary panel and the board of Salford Red Devils have decided the following:

Inu has been fined four weeks salary and will be suspended from play for two months commencing from the original suspension day.

Furthermore, Inu will be attending a mandatory education program which is currently being developed in conjunction with the University of Salford. The program will cover comms, social media protocol and wider community and social issues to better prepare players with social engagement.

The club currently has wide-ranging regulations regarding appropriate behaviour and are looking to expand on these with mandatory workshops relating to consent, respect and inclusivity for all Salford Red Devils players and staff. We believe that the best way to affect cultural change is through education and development and we will publish more details about this program as they become available.

Inu has apologised for any offence he may have caused and appreciates the language he used may have been misinterpreted: “I deeply apologise for the comments made in my social media postings on May 6.

“By the inappropriate use of language, my remarks were open to misinterpretation and have caused offence and disrepute to my club Salford Red Devils and the RFL. Along with the Club, I will not condone any violence against another person and truly believe that any such victim should receive appropriate support.”

Separately, the RFL found Inu to be guilty of misconduct in respect of the following rules:

 

  • RFL Social Media Policy
  • Operational Rules C2:6 (failure to adhere to policy)
  • C2:11 (Unacceptable Language)
  • D1:1(b) (Conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game)

 

In view of the club’s decision, no additional sanction will be imposed by the RFL. However, the RFL reserves the right to impose further and more severe sanctions in the event of repeated, similar offences. Inu has the right to appeal against the RFL’s decision.

Salford Red Devils would finally like to reiterate our clear and unambiguous stance that any form of violence against anybody, together with victim shaming, inadvertently or otherwise, is wholly unacceptable.  The club will make no further comment.

RED DEVILS TO STAND UNITED IN SUPPORT OF TACKLE IT CAMPAIGN

Salford Red Devils will stand as one before every game this season in support of the Rugby Football League’s TACKLE IT campaign. 

When the 2020 Betfred Super League season restarted in August last year, the RFL, Super League, RL Cares, RLWC2021 and a number of clubs showed their support of the Black Lives Matter anti-racism message, including Salford.

Rugby league has since developed TACKLE IT – an anti-racism, anti-discrimination action plan that that will focus on improving the sport’s reach, appeal, diversity, culture and tackle ALL kinds of discrimination – specifically racial discrimination and equality as these are areas that require the most attention currently.

Increasing inclusion and diversity whilst tackling all forms of discrimination, including racism, is key to the growth and success of rugby league. The TACKLE IT action plan is sport-wide and sets out specific measures which the sport is taking together to deliver real change.

Salford Red Devils are playing our part in delivering the TACKLE IT commitments to make a positive, lasting difference. We are doing so because Black Lives Matter and Rugby League stands in solidarity with players, coaches, match officials, fans, volunteers, staff, and supporters in the struggle against racism and discrimination in sport and in society.

There will be a 13-second window at the start of each league and cup game where clubs will line up on the 20m line, facing their own dugouts, and will be asked to demonstrate their support of TACKLE IT. A play-led decision, Salford have chosen to express their support of the TACKLE IT campaign by standing in solidarity, hand on badge.

You can find out more on the TACKLE IT campaign here.

The RFL restructure the England Performance Unit

The Rugby Football League today announced a restructure of the England Performance Unit which involves an expanded role for Paul Sculthorpe MBE, and contract extensions for Kevin Sinfield MBE and Jamie Peacock MBE.
Sculthorpe, the only man to win Super League’s Man of Steel award in consecutive years, has been appointed England Pathways Coach, meaning he will be working with all teams in the EPU and focusing on the country’s outstanding young players, from Junior Academy to Knights level – following his involvement in last autumn’s successful England Knights tour of Papua New Guinea.
Sinfield, who joined the RFL as Rugby Director in 2016 and has continued in that role since being appointed as Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos last summer, has committed to the RFL role until 2022 – after the Rugby League World Cup on home soil in 2021.
Peacock, another former England and Great Britain captain who has been working as the England team manager since July 2016, has also extended his agreement with the RFL until 2021.
Paul Anderson will be continuing as Knights head coach in a consultancy role after joining Warrington’s backroom staff since the end of last season, and the former Warrington forward David Elliott remains National Programme Manager and head coach of the England Academy team after the 2-0 series victory over the Australian Schoolboys last month.
Ben Jones, previously the Research and Innovation Manager, takes a new role as England Performance Director; Jane Phillips takes over as Head of England Operations; and Barry Frost continues as Head of Performance Analysis.
Further announcements about the England Women and Wheelchair coaching staff will be made later this year.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive, said: “We created the England Performance Unit last January after proposals from Kevin Sinfield, and the results for 2018 speak for themselves.
“Our senior England men’s team won four games out of five Tests played, three of them against New Zealand.
“England Women had a big win in France – although we recognise that securing more international competition for them is a major priority for 2019 and beyond – and on one memorable Saturday in October, the Knights made it three wins out of three for our England teams when they won their first international in Papua New Guinea.
“That was followed by the superb performances of Dave Elliott’s England Academy team against the Australian Schoolboys.
“So it’s great to be able to announce the news that Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Paul Sculthorpe – three truly outstanding players of the Super League era – will retain key roles in the EPU, as we continue to build towards hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
“We recognise there is a need for clarity about international fixtures for all our national teams – men’s, women’s and wheelchair – and rest assured we are working hard behind the scenes to allow us to make further positive announcements as soon as possible.
“The EPU is delivering exactly as we had hoped, which is thanks to those involved and also the support of the clubs.
“We remain focused on success in the RLWC2021 and beyond, as we all understand the impact this can have for the sport in the UK – and are therefore delighted to have secured these key personnel on that journey.”
England Performance Unit 2019
England Rugby Director; Kevin Sinfield (Consultant)
England Performance Director; Ben Jones (Consultant)
Knights Head Coach; Paul Anderson (Consultant)
National Programme Manager; Dave Elliott (Employee)
England Pathways Coach; Paul Sculthorpe (Consultant)
Head of England Operations; Jane Phillips (Employee)
RFL Head of Coaching and Player Development; Dave Rotheram (Employee)
Performance Analysis; Barry Frost (Consultant)

Coral will sponsor the Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cup

The Rugby Football League have agreed an historic commercial partnership with Coral to include both the men’s and women’s Challenge Cups in a two-year, seven-figure deal.
The two competitions will come together when the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final shares the stage with the men’s semi finals in a triple header at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday July 27.
The men’s Coral Challenge Cup Final will be held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24.
“This is a really significant day both for the Challenge Cup, and for women’s Rugby League,” said Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive.
“The men’s Challenge Cup is one of the iconic competitions and trophies of British sport, with more than 120 years of history, and the famous Wembley final televised live to the nation and the world by the BBC.
“The Women’s Challenge Cup may not have that history, but Coral’s enthusiasm for it to be part of a joint sponsorship deal confirms our determination that it is set for a really exciting future.
“With Coral’s name now linked to both the men’s and women’s Challenge Cups, it’s equally exciting to be able to extend the double header for the men’s semi finals that proved such a big hit last year, and now incorporate the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final.
“The University of Bolton Stadium proved a popular venue for the sold-out double header last summer, so we’re delighted to be going back for a triple header in 2019.
“We are confident that thousands of the supporters of the teams who reach the semi finals of the men’s Coral Challenge Cup will also take the opportunity to watch the outstanding spectacle provided by our best women’s teams – and that will ensure their skills and athleticism are seen by the record audience they deserve.”
Adrian Osman, the Head of Sponsorship and Events at Coral, said: “The Rugby League Challenge Cup and the final at Wembley are flagship events in British sport, and we are delighted that Coral’s name will now be associated with them in this significant deal. In addition, the opportunity to get involved with women’s sport and the development of women’s Rugby League as the first title sponsors of the Women’s Challenge Cup is hugely exciting for us – and combining the final with the semi finals of the Coral Challenge Cup should produce another great event. We’re really looking forward to seeing the two competitions unfold through the spring and summer.
Leeds Rhinos are the Women’s Challenge Cup holders, having beaten Castleford Tigers in a classic final at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium last summer.
The RFL also confirmed today that the 2018 Wembley winners Catalans Dragons will defend the Coral Challenge Cup, after reaching an agreement with the French club to end recent uncertainty about their participation.
They will enter the competition at the Sixth Round stage in May, having finished in the top eight of the Super League in 2018.
The teams who finished in the bottom four will enter in the Fifth Round in April.
The Road to Wembley begins this weekend, with 52 community clubs competing in First-Round ties from Portsmouth to Wallsend, and featuring Sunday’s meeting on the Cumbrian coast between the oldest amateur club in the country, Millom, and the Challenge Cup newcomers Red Star Belgrade – which will be streamed live on the BBC Sport online platforms.
The Trans-Pennine battle between Orrell St James and Holmfirth’s Underbank Rangers will be shown live on the RFL’s Our League membership App and Website the previous day.
Tickets for the triple header at the University of Bolton on Saturday July 27 go on sale today, and are available here –https://rugbyleague.tickethour.co.uk/seatingPlan.html?idProduct=560.
Tickets for the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 are available here – https://www.rugby-league.com/tickets/challenge_cup_final

Adam Walker joins Salford Red Devils

In today’s edition of the Manchester Evening News, it was exclusively revealed that prop-forward Adam Walker has joined Salford Red Devils.
Walker hasn’t played since testing positive for cocaine whist at Wakefield Trinity in 2017, but the now reformed character has the chance to make an impact once again; an opportunity that isn’t lost on him.
The 27-year-old said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have a club for the 2019 season and I’m extremely grateful to Salford Red Devils for giving me this opportunity.
“From day one speaking to Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease and Head Coach Ian Watson I could see that Salford – as a Club – have some real strong beliefs and values that centre around the community and doing good in the local area. I knew straight away that this was the kind of club I wanted to be at.
“I’ve not been perfect in the past. I don’t think anyone is. But you need to learn from your mistakes and develop as a person and player afterwards.
“It’s been a tough few years for myself not being able to play the sport I love on a regular basis. I was suffering from some mental health issues at the time which in turn led to me making a big mistake. I don’t want to use that as an excuse, I accepted and learnt from my punishment.
“In my time away from the game I feel like I’ve matured a lot. I honestly feel I’ve turned the corner, I’ve regained my love for the sport back and I’m ready for the next chapter.
“At a club like Salford, I’ve got the best opportunity to continue to grow as a person by going into the community, talking about the lessons I’ve learnt and promoting Rugby League in a positive manner.
“The sport of Rugby League has been very good to me. The support I received from the RFL, in particular Emma Rosewarne, was brilliant and really helped me on my road to recovery. I’ve now been offered a second chance and it’s up to me to make sure I grab it with both hands.”
Bradford-born Walker began his career with Huddersfield Giants but spent the majority on loan with Barrow Raiders and Swinton Lions. However, it was at Hull Kingston Rovers where the forward made his name while also being a regular for the Scottish National side.
Walker said: “I was playing at the highest and most consistent level I’ve ever competed at four or five years ago and I was loving every minute of it.
“During my time at Hull Kingston Rovers I managed to draw attention from Australia and even spoke to Melbourne Storm, but I decided to see out my contract at Hull. Chris Chester was very supportive of me and that helped massively. Of course, I got the move to St Helens and then eventually Wakefield, both of whom are great Super League clubs.
“I was also in the Scotland National side on a regular basis and for that to slip away because of a silly decision whilst at Wakefield was massively disappointing but it has only made me hungrier now to turn things around and strive to get back to where I want to be.”
Due to his suspension, Walker is yet to train with the Red Devils but has no concerns about catching up on pre-season and returning to the field in top condition.
Walker said: “I know I’ve a lot of work to do. I’ve not been able to train but once I’m allowed to get back on the field regularly.
“I know the Head Strength and Conditioning – Greg Brown – from my time with Swinton and I know he will get the best out of me physically. I’ll be pushing myself further than I have before to ensure I’m ready for my first game back whenever that may be.”
Adam Walker will be available to play for the Red Devils in March.
Salford Red Devils return to action for the first time in almost four months on Saturday as they clash with local rivals Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm kick-off. Tickets are available at the AJ Bell Stadium, over the phone and online HERE.

Disciplinary | Lee Mossop receives zero game penalty notice

Salford forward Lee Mossop has been given a 0-match penalty notice for a headbutt in the Red Devils recent victory over Leeds Rhinos.
This means Mossop will be available for the opening fixture of The Qualifiers which will be released on Wednesday 1st August at midday.
You can re-live the full game against Leeds and Jackson Hastings’ impressive debut by clicking here.
Or, the highlights are available below:

 

Super League | Robert Elstone meets the media

New Super League Chief Executive, Robert Elstone, said the competition has something special to build on as he met the media for the first time today.
Elstone started as the new CEO for the Betfred Super League last week and spoke at a press conference at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home of Warrington Wolves.
The former Everton Chief Executive, who has a wealth of experience in sporting organisations, said:
“When I met all the clubs for the first time three or four weeks ago, I started by thanking them for putting their trust in me. This is the job I’ve always wanted. It might have been the only job that took me away from a great football club like Everton. It’s a job I’m honoured to hold and a job I’m excited to fulfill.
“From the first day I could really understand it, I’ve loved this sport; what it stands for and what it’s all about. I have sold its virtues and defended its name to anyone and everyone prepared to listen. And plenty didn’t, particularly when you’ve spent most of your life in Barnsley and Bramhall.
“In my impressionable teenage years, two teams inspired me; Malcolm Reilly’s Castleford team of the mid-late 70s and of course, the 1982 Kangaroos. I had the good fortune to be a student in Hull at the time and the Kangaroos were the reason, three months after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, that I travelled to Sydney, put my career on hold, and went on a two-year tour of Australian Rugby League. On the way home, I cut short a round the world trip to get back to Cas for their game against the 1990 tourists.
“People will challenge me to define my vision for Super League. I don’t find that difficult. We all want, and we all need, a vibrant, sustainable, competitive and compelling Super League, one that sits at the heart of our communities, one that brings communities together, one that makes fans of our game proud.
“The challenge is how we achieve that. That’s about leadership, unity, and a committed and focused group of people who will roll their sleeves up and make things happen. It’s also about being positive and realising we have something special in our clubs, our fans, our players and the game we play.
“The job starts by establishing a positive working relationship with the RFL that respects Super League’s responsibility to the whole game, and challenges the RFL to provide the highest standards of governance for Super League.
“It quickly looks at replacing a competition format that isn’t working. That’s creating too much uncertainty for clubs and fans.
“It then focuses very clearly what matters, on growth; bringing in and retaining new fans; bringing in and retaining new partners; rewarding the fans and partners that come with us. Our biggest priority has to be to better fill our stadia.
“When at last year’s Man of Steel, Fred Done says we are the best sport he’s worked with; when Air Commodore Dean Andrew says our players are the closest athletes he’s ever met to his elite soldiers; when Scott Quinnell at the end of Magic says, ‘I love these people’, we have something special to build on.”

Squad | England Knights to face Papua New Guinea in two-game series

Today the Rugby Football League have confirmed that the England Knights will take on Papua New Guinea in a two-game series later this year.
The 24-man squad – which includes Salford Red Devils full-back Niall Evalds – will play against the Kumuls on Saturday 27th October in Lae before a second fixture in Port Moresby on 3rd November.
Following extensive planning alongside officials from Papua New Guinea, the squad will spend time at the state of the art training facilities of Brisbane Broncos in Australia before travelling to the island, where Rugby League is the national sport, for a two-game series against the 10th ranked side in the world who also progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Rugby Football League Interim Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The England Knights programme is an integral part of our vision for a successful national team in the next four years and beyond.
“We were determined that we would create meaningful games and experiences that would test this squad of players and travelling to the other side of the world, to one of the most passionate and avid Rugby League nations on the planet will certainly do that.
“We are absolutely committed to creating an environment and selection of fixtures that give us the best chance of winning the World Cup in 2021 and 2025 and I have spoken to the coaches and players involved in the England Performance Unit and I know that they are all incredibly excited about the opportunity to test themselves later this year.”
Following his selection Niall Evalds spoke to Salford Red Devils TV you can watch the full video below: