Leigh Centurions star Nick Gregson says the current Reserves system is a joke and that it should be compulsory for each team to have a second-string side.
The 22-year-old crossed Lancashire in the off-season, moving to Leigh from Wigan Warriors, where he came through the club’s famous Academy.
He found chances limited at the Warriors though and with no proper Reserves structure in place – he decided to join Championship side Leigh.
Gregson feels as though young talent is being neglected by not having second-string sides.
The England Academy international told loverugbyleague.com: “I had another year left (on my contract) at Wigan but I wasn’t playing much and it doesn’t help that the Reserves competition is a bit rubbish as well.
“I wanted to get regular playing time – I spoke to Jukesy (Neil Jukes) and it sounded like the right move at the right time so I hope I after pre-season, I can get some game time and stay injury free.
“It’s (the current Reserves system) a joke really. Hull and Warrington have got rid of their teams now but I’m not surprised because everyone needs to buy into it – there is only us, Wigan and a couple of others who will stick with it this year but it should be made compulsory for every team to have one.
“It’s a bit stupid really because it’s why a lot of lads fall away from the systems and fall through the cracks and end up not playing anymore. It should be compulsory.”
The back-rower revealed that he got offered the chance to sign a two-year deal with the Centurions but only decided to take a one-year contract because he wanted to make sure that he was at his best in order to earn a new deal for the 2019 season.
Gregson added: “I was given the option of a two-year contract here but I only took one-year because I want to make sure that I am working hard.
“I want a spot in the 17. I want to stay injury free and get a new contract through my performances.”
The promising youngster believes that Leigh have a good enough squad to get back into the Betfred Super League at the first time of asking.
He added: “There are a lot of good teams in the Championship. There is Toronto, London, Featherstone, Toulouse and a few more so it should be good.
“I think we’re a bit unknown to others really. We’ve got 20 new lads but a class bunch of players so not a lot of teams will not know what to expect from us. We all get on well and I’m excited for the season to start.”