Super League club Leeds Rhinos have entered a new dual-registration partnership with Championship side Halifax Panthers for the 2024 season.
Fax players will also spend time with Rohan Smith’s side during pre-season to gain the experience of training in a full-time environment ahead of the 2024 campaign.
Rhinos coach Rohan Smith said: “Halifax are a club that we have had a close link with for a number of years through our assistant coach Scott Grix.
“Liam Finn (Halifax coach) has spent time with us this pre-season and we have already been able to welcome a number of their players to join us in pre-season.
“They have a good set-up that will benefit our young players when they go there on dual-registration and that is important for their development.
“I look forward to seeing this relationship develop this season and hopefully in the years ahead.”
Dual-registration partnership will ‘benefit both clubs’, says Halifax Panthers coach Liam Finn
Halifax boss Liam Finn, who has taken the head coaching reins at his hometown club on a three-year deal, believes the newly-formed partnership will benefit both clubs.
Finn said: “I’m grateful to Leeds Rhinos and Rohan Smith for selecting us as their partners. We are committed to making it work and benefit both clubs.
“In the Championship where it’s difficult to get your non-players from the weekend match fitness and therefore it makes it very difficult for any player who has missed out on selection for a few weeks to come in and do their job well and strongly enough to maintain their place in the team.
“For this reason we have made a conscious decision to opt away from backfilling our squad for the sake of quantity.
“Leeds Rhinos are a benchmark club for how they run and conduct themselves and as a club we can learn a lot from them away from the rugby field too.
“We feel we can offer young Rhinos a professional environment with our own quality experienced players when they come to us and aid their development whilst not missing out on training with Leeds whilst also having fixtures available in the reserves system to keep them actively playing.
“We know from last year how demanding the Championship is, especially if you do well in the Cup so we feel this will provide us with flexibility in our squad and opportunity for Leeds players.”