Castleford, Huddersfield and Salford fined for breaching operational rules

Castleford, Huddersfield and Salford have been fined by the Rugby Football League for breaching its operational rules.

Castleford have been fined £35,000 – £15,000 of which is suspended for two years – for failing to fulfil a Super League fixture against St Helens on June 30 and for breaching coronavirus protocols on the return coach journey from the Challenge Cup final defeat at Wembley last month.

A subsequent Covid-19 outbreak at the club led to the postponement of additional league games against Catalans Dragons and Leigh.

Huddersfield have been handed a £30,000 fine – £15,000 of which is suspended for two years – for failing to fulfil a league match with Castleford in July.

Salford have been fined £25,000 – with £12,500 suspended for one year – for breaches of Covid protocols which led to the postponements of league matches against Wakefield (July 1) and Hull FC (July 5).

An RFL statement read: “In the cases the RFL advised that there were no grounds for postponement within the regulatory framework agreed between Super League clubs and the RFL – a framework which differentiates between matches that a club is unable to fulfil for Covid-related reasons and matches a club is unable to play due to other player availability issues.

“The clubs were also warned that failure to fulfil the fixtures could be considered ‘Misconduct’ under the game’s Operational Rules.

“The fines reflect the RFL’s determination to protect the integrity of, and confidence in, professional rugby league competitions.

“In reaching ‘agreed decisions’ with the clubs, the RFL re-emphasises the sport’s obligations to clubs, supporters, and commercial and broadcaster partners who are affected by such postponements and cancellations.”

Meanwhile, Catalans Dragons have been given the green light to return to training following a Covid-19 outbreak that led to the postponement of their Betfred Super League fixture against Warrington last Thursday.

The Dragons said four members of their essential staff had tested positive for coronavirus within a 24-hour window last week, three of them on Thursday morning shortly before the squad were due to fly to England.However, the club say both lateral flow and a round of full PCR testing have been undertaken, with blanket negative results, meaning Thursday’s fixture as things stand against Salford can go ahead.

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