Squad declaration rule changes

Squad declaration rule changes

  • Rugby League’s Squad Declaration system has been revised for the 2020 season

  • Teams will be required to name a 21-man squad instead of 19-man squad

  • This will be the most significant change to the Squad Declaration system since 2009.

Rugby League’s Squad Declaration system has been revised for the 2020 season in response to feedback from all sections of the game, including supporters and the media.

Instead of teams being required to name a 19-player squad by noon two days before each fixture, they will now be required to name a 21-player squad at that time.

But for each player from outside that 21 who is then called into the team’s 17-player match-day squad, that team will lose one of the eight interchanges permitted for all fixtures in the Betfred Super League, Championship, League 1, the Coral Challenge Cup and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

Wigan will now have to name a 21-man squad rather than a 19-man squad two days before each fixture

The only exceptions to this will involve the Dual Registration system – if a player on Dual Registration is recalled by their parent club after the partner club has named a 21-player squad, they can be replaced in the 21 without the partner club losing an interchange; and in the unusual situation of a club losing a player at a tribunal hearing after the squad declaration deadline (for example on a Tuesday evening for a Thursday night fixture), when again they can be replaced without sanction.

In other exceptional circumstances, a club would need to seek and receive consent from the RFL Board.

The change was discussed by the RFL’s Laws Committee, which includes representatives from all sections of the professional game, at their last meeting of 2019, leading to further consultation with clubs and head coaches - and is confirmed in the Operational Rules for the 2020 season which have been circulated to clubs this week.

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