LEEDS RHINOS will allow loan trio Jordan Baldwinson, Luke Briscoe and Josh Walters to play against them for Featherstone Rovers in the First Utility Qualifiers.
The three players last week joined Rovers on loan until the end of the season.
The deal does not include a clause preventing them from playing against their parent club.
Rhinos began a partnership arrangement with Featherstone last winter, but are now gearing up to visit Big Fellas Stadium, Post Office Road, in a competitive fixture for the first time since a Challenge Cup tie in 2000.
Baldwinson and Briscoe were in the Rovers side which snatched fourth spot in the Kingstone Press Championship – and a place in the Qualifiers – with a 20-0 home win over Bradford Bulls last Sunday.
Rhinos’ Ashton Golding and Anthony Mullally also featured in that game for Featherstone on dual-registration and Leeds will now have to decide whether to allow that arrangement to continue.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “Under the current rules, Jordan Baldwinson could have played for both teams, through the dual-registration arrangement, because he has played more than eight games for Featherstone this season. We spoke to Featherstone before last weekend and agreed he would play for Featherstone until the end of the season, so we made him a loan player.
“We took the same decision with Luke Briscoe and Josh Walters, who has had a fair chunk of the season out injured and is still injured.
“They will be available to play against Leeds Rhinos in the Qualifiers.”
Of the dual-registration players, Hetherington added: “The rules allow them to play for Featherstone provided they have played three first-team games for them [in the regular season].
“That means Ashton Golding, Anthony Mullally and Jordan Lilley could play for Featherstone in the middle-eights, but once they do they will not be allowed to play for Leeds Rhinos again this season. If they play for Leeds Rhinos, they won’t be allowed to play again for Featherstone.
“Brian [McDermott, Rhinos’ coach] has to make a call as to whether he believes those players will be used in any of our next seven games.
“It is almost certain those players will be required by Leeds Rhinos.”
After an injury pile-up earlier in the year, Rhinos are wary of being caught short again in the relegation battle.
“You just don’t know what the injury situation is going to throw up,” Hetherington said.
“We will go into the next seven matches without any ability to bring in other players from other clubs, so we have to be certain the squad is sufficient to carry us through.
“Last year Josh Walters could have played for Hunslet [in the Championship Shield] on dual-registration, but we decided to keep him and he ended up playing in the Grand Final and scoring the winning try.”