OPINION: Should teams name a 19 man squad?

For a number of years, teams are expected to a name a provisional 19 man squad 48 hours before their game.

But is it really necessary? Does it actually do anything but allow fans a small insight to what team is going to be selected?

Moreover, there have been a few examples of teams undermining the initial naming of these squads.

Last week, for their game against Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos had initially ruled out fullback Jack Walker after he picked up an injury in the latter stages of their win over Catalans Dragons. As such, he was not named in the 19 man squad and replaced by Ashton Golding.

But come the actual game, and Walker is actually playing at full back despite not being named in the squad. He then went on to make a Man of the Match performance as Leeds claimed back to back wins.

It got me thinking, why do teams actually name squads before the start of a match?

In football, no one knows how a team will line up until the actual day, and I cannot see why rugby cannot do the same thing.

The whole point of a midweek press conference is to get team news from coaches and players alike. If there is a squad announcement anyway, then there is no point in a midweek press conference in rugby league.

Alternatively, I think the RFL need to be tougher with the naming of these squads. Once a team names their squad, it should stick, unless there is an injury to one of the 19.

However, I do believe there is no benefit to any team from naming an early squad, just name the squad on the actual day.

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