The RFL has clarified how the new dual registration system between the professional and community games will work in 2012.
Academy Rugby League players at professional clubs will also be dual registered with their community club, an arrangement that will enable them to be released to play for their grassroots side if not selected for their professional club on a week-by-week basis.
RFL Director of Participation David Gent said: “This is a massive step forward and will help Academy teams put their strongest sides out. The flexibility gives players the chance to play every week and will also benefit community clubs.
“To be in an Academy side you will have to be dual registered with a community club.
“There is a strong commitment to build bridges between the professional and community game and if a player isn’t required by the Academy they will be released to play for their community side.”
The newly-aligned March-to-November playing season has made this new dual registration system possible and Rugby League players will benefit from the flexibility of the new arrangement which means that they do not have to choose between one or the other.
RFL Head of Player Development BJ Mather said: “The dual registration agreement means that players won’t be penalised for following their dream of playing professional Rugby League.
“The professional game understands that a strong community game is the best way to develop players and dual registration is a way to ensure that we are not taking too many players out of community game clubs.
“If a player is not going to be playing for their professional club, they should notify him 48 hours before the game and then he can go to the community club he is dual registered with and play that weekend.”