The RFL have confirmed that the Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League will remain a summer competition for the next three years.
The decision follows consultation between the RFL and participating clubs. Consultation with clubs is an important part of shaping the NCL’s future direction.
“Following on from the survey that we carried out and negotiation with the RFL, the National Conference League will for the next three years continue to run a summer competition,” NCL Administrator David Lowe said.
“Clubs in attendance were informed of this at the delegates meeting of the Monday July 14, 2014.
“We wanted to receive the early notice from the clubs then we could seek to address issues such as the composition of the divisions and the programing of the fixtures.
“There had been a couple of calls for fixtures to avoid holidays such as Easter and unless we knew how many clubs would be playing in the competition, then we would be unable to work out if it was feasible.
“However we have had an overwhelming response with 45 of our 47 clubs reaffirming their intention to play in the NCL next season, whilst just two said they would defer their response until such time as they had conferred with their players.
“A third club stated they would intend playing in the summer competition, but asked that the Management Committee consider a winter playing format that they had put forward.
“This now means that we may press ahead with planning for next season and seek to address some of the requests that we have received looking at the number of games played, when they are played and when there may be the potential for some leeway to incorporate a blank weekend or two.
“We have much work to do, but at least we should now have time to plan and fine-tune.”
The RFL Conference Challenge Trophy final will be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds on Sunday October 5 (11.45am) as part of the Kingstone Press Championships Finals Day.