The RFL has extended timelines within proposals for Academy Licensing from 2022 following extensive consultation.
As such, probationary Elite licences have been awarded to Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers – the three clubs who currently hold Academy Licences and had not been awarded a new one.
These are initially for a two-year period (2022-23), and the clubs’ progress during that period will be kept under regular review.
The RFL have also announced they will also work with Leigh Centurions and Salford Red Devils, whose applications to launch an Elite Academy Licence from 2022 had also been unsuccessful, to consolidate their Development Academies, and develop their surrounding community playing base.
The decision to award Elite Academy Licences for 2022-27 to 10 clubs – Catalans Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors – is unaffected.
Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s Chief On-Field Officer, said: “We are pleased that it has been possible to reach this agreement for the benefit of all, while respecting the process that led to the initial decision.
“The RFL will work with all five clubs to address their specific circumstances. All have responded to these challenges with impressive energy, which has earned these opportunities.
“There is a recognition by all now that Elite should mean Elite – and that everyone involved has a responsibility to protect and grow the sport from Community right through to the professional ranks and our national teams.
“The standards will not be diluted, and every Academy Licence holder will be held to account under the terms of the Licence agreement.”