In response to Covid-19, the RFL Board reduced the minimum loan term from four to two weeks.
This year’s reserve competition was on the shelves and the academy has been put on hold due to the ongoing pandemic. Additionally, due to protocols related to Covid-19 security, clubs don’t even have the option to double-register – effectively weekly loan agreements with lower league outfits.
This means that non-first team players have nowhere else to play unless they are loaned to either a Super League or a lower division club. But of course, letting a player go for at least four weeks if injuries or suspensions entered the squad during that time could have been a big gamble.
With that timeframe now shortened to at least two weeks, the risk is reduced and Wigan may be more inclined to let players on the sidelines of Adrian Lam’s first team loan out.
Players are also allowed to move between teams at the same club (e.g. academy to first team) and from professional environments to international environments. This paves the way for Shaun Wane to have a meeting or training session with his English squad – subject to the side conditions flow check.
In another change, the date on which clubs must notify players of their contracts in relation to contract offers last year has been postponed from April 30th to May 31st to reflect the later start of the season – although the players still do will be able to speak to other clubs from May 1st as before.