20th April 2018, 14:30 | Community

Encouraging response to launch of new Player Development League

Encouraging response to launch of new Player Development League

Earlier this year, the Rugby Football League launched a new 'Player Development League' (PDL).

Since launching, there has been an encouraging response with 72 teams registering an interest.

The opportunity to play merit league-style fixtures and take part in other Rugby League activity under the PDL banner is open to youth and junior teams located anywhere in the country.

The focus is on teams and clubs who, for a variety of reasons, cannot commit to a complete a full season.

The RFL has been pleased with the initial response to the launch of the PDL and is encouraging new teams as well as existing teams who perhaps do not have a squad size large enough to sustain a full season in one of the existing competitions, or those with large squads who may wish to give more game time to more players, to get in touch.

Clubs - and potentially school teams - participating in other competitions could also benefit from playing the occasional PDL fixture, although formal competitions will always take priority and permission may be required.

The emphasis will be on playing games rather than results.

It is anticipated most of the fixtures will be played between May and August, although teams will be free to arrange fixtures outside of this core period should they wish to do so.

Rugby Football League's Interim Development Director said:

"The response so far has been encouraging.

"As expected, a number of new teams and clubs from across the country have been in contact.

"We have also been contacted by several of our leading community clubs who are looking for additional playing opportunities for squad members who may otherwise not get much game time.

"That is something, working with the relevant playing leagues, we will be looking to facilitate as the game cannot afford to be losing youngsters through lack of playing opportunity.

"We've also had some very interesting discussions with some Super League Foundations who have expressed an interest in getting involved.

"The aim is to make it as easy and as convenient as possible for teams to play Rugby League.

"Clubs can play with a regularity that suits them at a time that suits them. The registration process will be online, and administration will be kept to a minimum."

Clubs who wish to register an interest in PDL or require further details should contact the RFL's Competition Manager David Raybould on david.raybould@rfl.uk.com.