How the reserves league table looks as one club pulls out after several forfeits

James Gordon
Rugby league ball David Weetman News Images

Photo: James Heaton/News Images

The RFL reserves league is set to continue with 13 teams, as Leigh Leopards appear to have withdrawn from the competition.

Their next fixture was scheduled to be against Hull on June 10, but Leigh have now withdrawn and all their remaining games are set to be awarded as walkover wins.

The Leopards have forfeited all six of their scheduled games so far 48-0. The club has been approached for comment.

St Helens sit top of the reserves league table with six wins and a draw from their seven games, ahead of Wigan. Leeds are also unbeaten, with three wins and a draw from their four games.

Leeds and St Helens battled out a 22-all draw in Stanningley last Thursday, while the recent game between Wigan and Leeds was abandoned due to an injury suffered by Toby Warren.

Despite all their games being forfeited, Leigh remarkably aren’t bottom of the table – London Broncos sit beneath them due to having a worse points difference.

The 14 teams are scheduled to play each other once during the season.

There has been much debate about the reserves system, which returned ahead of the 2022 season following the COVID-enforced suspension in 2020.

Some coaches have expressed their frustration at the scheduling of games, while the limited player pool has also proven a challenge.

With players playing for academy sides and out on loan, reserve squads are often threadbare.

There are some that feel that bigger clubs are sitting on players that would otherwise be available on deals for Championship clubs.

Hull coach Tony Smith recently provided some insight in to the challenges facing the reserves competition.

He told Hull Live: “We want our reserve team to play as close to our first team as we can, so training-wise, we can train them on a similar basis.

“It’s not easy. It takes a lot of staff, too. They’re two different teams. You’ve got to have double the amount of staff to cater for it. That increases salaries. It’s not straightforward.

“Having the grounds to play on, the whole infrastructure in place, it needs to be well-thought-out rather than thrown together, and sometimes that’s what we’re guilty of in this sport; we throw things together.”

Upcoming Reserves league games (weekend June 10/11)

Warrington v Huddersfield

Bradford v London

Hull KR v Newcastle

Castleford v Salford

St Helens v Wigan

Wakefield v Leeds

Leigh P-P Hull