A limited number of amateur players may now be registered by Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs following changes to the operational rules announced by the RFL this afternoon.
The RFL has confirmed big changes to the 19-man squad system and has also ruled that players attached to community clubs may also sign papers in the pro ranks.
League 1 clubs may register up to ten players, clubs in Championship can take up to five, while Super League clubs can take up to two, for Reserves League fixtures only.
All clubs in the Reserves League will also be able to register an additional two University players.
The RFL hopes the changes “will provide additional incentive and opportunity for amateur players, while they retain their amateur status and can therefore continue to play for their community clubs”.
In addition, players registered with League 1 and Championship clubs will be able to “train up” with Super League clubs, where previously they were only able to do so on loan deals of at last 28 days.
The dual-registration system will be extended so that one player from each League 1 club can be dual registered with a Championship or a Super League club, and one player from each Championship club with a Super League club.
No club will be able to dual register more than one player under this addition.
And in a further change that the RFL believes will benefit players at Championship and League 1 clubs, the rules relating to making approaches to players registered at other clubs have been standardised.
This means that such approaches will now be permitted to part-time and full-time players from May 1 in the last year of their contract – whereas previously, clubs have only been permitted to approach part-time players from September 1.
The Operational Rules applying to Agents have also been amended, with clarification that a mandatory registration process will now be followed annually by Authorised Agents.