Players commit as Keighley offer RFL solution

Thirteen players have joined player-coach Paul March in pledging their futures to Keighley, regardless of which division they will play in next season.

The Cougars have launched legal action against the RFL following their relegation from the Championship, which came after Batley successfully appealed against a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

Headlining the re-signings are top try scorer Paul White, top points scorer Danny Jones and captain Paul Handforth.

Four of the club’s longest serving players – James Feather, Brendon Rawlins, Scott Law and Danny Lawton – all part of the 2011 Championship One play-off winning squad, have also signed.

Keighley have also secured the signatures of Ross Peltier, Neil Cherryholme, Luke Haigh, Jesse Sheriffe, Jode Sheriffe and Lewis Graham.

It is unclear how long it will take to determine whether Keighley will be part of the 12-team Championship next season, or if they will drop down to League One.

They are believed to have offered a solution to the RFL, which means both Batley and the Cougars competing in what would be a 13-team league in 2015.

However, given the publicity of the 2×12, 3×8 split, increasing the second league (and thus the third eight) by a team may create further confusion for the game.


There is also the issue that next season’s Championship has the Summer Bash which would require an even number of teams in the competition – although Keighley have suggested that Batley do not participate in this, and instead receive one bonus point as compensation.

Sheffield have also become involved in the legal challenge – claiming a loss of prize money and a loss of advantage in the play-offs by finishing below Doncaster who, like Batley, had decisive points reinstated on appeal. 

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