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Reserve grade Rugby League to return in 2020

Super League and the Rugby Football League (RFL) have announced that a reserve grade competition will be relaunched in 2020.

The 11 English Super League clubs approved a proposal for all Super League clubs to have a reserve team.

Clubs outside Super League with a category one academy, such as Widnes and Bradford, will also have a side.

A competition without age restrictions has not been held since 1997 - then known as the Alliance League.

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone said: "It is essential that we offer appropriate challenges to our young players on their journeys into Super League.

"A well-managed, resourced and competitive reserve grade will provide that."

Age-restricted competitions took place in various forms between 1998 and 2012, evolving from under-21, with up to seven over-age players, to under-20 competition with four over-age players.

In 2013, a dual-registration system was brought in allowing players to be registered for two different teams. However, some clubs, such as Hull FC, already run a reserve team with fixtures arranged by the RFL.

Five clubs in the Championship and League One have also applied to have their own reserve team for next season, with a decision to be made by the end of July.

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