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10th July 2019, 13:00 | womens_rugby_league

RFL Board decision: Ineligible player, Coral Women's Challenge Cup

RFL Board decision: Ineligible player, Coral Women's Challenge Cup

Castleford Tigers' Francesca Townend, who played in the Coral Women's Challenge Cup Semi-final against Wakefield Trinity, will not be eligible to play in the final.

The RFL Board made the decision this week after it emerged that Ms Townend had previously been registered as an Oulton Raiders player for their Challenge Cup Round One tie at Widnes Vikings.

Castleford Tigers will, however, be allowed to play in the Coral Women's Challenge Cup Final - despite fielding an ineligible player in the semi-final. 

The women's competition sits within tiers four and five of the Community Game Competition Structure and the Women's Challenge Cup is governed by the Tier 4-6 Operational Rules. Board discussed the matter in accordance with Operational Rule C2:5:5 which states as follows.

'Any Club found guilty of player an ineligible Player shall be fined not less than £100.00 and the Match may, subject to the Management Group's discretion, be awarded to their opponents. The offending Player may be liable for suspension.'

A range of sanctions were considered, including whether to award the game to Wakefield Trinity or let the result stand. In this instance, Board chose to exercise discretion and not to disqualify Castleford Tigers for what was considered to be a genuine administrative error by the club rather than a deliberate act. 

The potential misconduct by club and player will now be considered by a Competition Discipline Panel at a future date in line with operational rules. If proven the panel may consider a fine and a suspension for the player, but will have no jurisdiction over the board's decision. 

Castleford Tigers will therefore play Leeds Rhinos in the Women's Coral Challenge Cup Final at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday, July 27.