Betfred Championship: RFL postpones part-time clubs’ trips to Toulouse Olympique

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS’ game at Toulouse Olympique, scheduled for Saturday, May 1, has been postponed.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Early-season Championship fixtures for part-time clubs travelling to Toulouse Olympique have been postponed by the RFL. Picture: Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com

The Rugby Football League (RFL) board have confirmed part-time teams in the Betfred Championship will not be required to fulfil away fixtures against Toulouse until current UK quarantine regulations are lifted.

At present, players and staff would have to isolate for at least five days on their return from France.

Widnes’ trip to Toulouse, on May 8, has also been postponed, but London Broncos will play there on April 18 because they are a full-time squad.

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Dewsbury Rams are due to travel to Toulouse on July 24 and Batley Bulldogs’ game in France is set for August 28.

This year’s Championship table will be decided on points percentage, to allow for the possibility of postponed fixtures.

The only two-match slots available for rearranged fixtures are on the weekend of the Betfred Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finals in June and Monday, July 19, two days after the finals of those competitions at Wembley.

Priority to rearrange games at Toulouse will be given to Widnes and Swinton Lions, who play the French side only once this season.

Toulouse will be required to play those matches in England if Widnes or Swinton have cup commitments on the alternative dates, potentially clearing Rovers to face them in June or July, if they are not in knockout action.

Clubs are required to complete 70 per cent of their scheduled fixtures to be eligible for the top-six play-offs, but the board have ruled Toulouse matches called off as a result of the current quarantine regulations will not count as postponed for either the French side or their opponents, so neither club will be penalised for “circumstances beyond their control”.

The RFL says Toulouse will be required to fund Covid tests which would allow London Broncos staff to reduce their quarantine period following the match in France from 10 days to five.

They will also have to arrange cover for any medical staff unable to travel owing to other work commitments.

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