St Helens will continue their dual-registration partnership with Championship outfit Swinton Lions for the 2024 season.
The partnership – a common one in rugby league – will see players from both sides able to play for one another, though in the most part will allow Saints’ fringe players the opportunity to gain first-team experience and play competitive rugby league in the Championship for development purposes.
When a player goes on dual-registration, they will be eligible to play and train with both clubs. The player will be restricted to play in one fixture per scheduled round in any given week and would not be eligible to play twice over the same weekend if, for example, Saints played on a Friday and Swinton on a Sunday.
The dual-registration rule was introduced in 2013, with the two clubs having established their link ahead of the season just gone, with those to have featured for Swinton including highly-rated youngster George Delaney who appeared six times for the Lions as well as on 20 occasions for his parent club.
Super League outfit St Helens confirm Championship dual-registration partners for 2024: ‘There are benefits for both clubs’
Speaking to their club website, St Helens head coach Paul Wellens said: “We are delighted to have our dual-registration agreement with Swinton Lions continue into the 2024 season.
“The partnership allows some of our players to gain valuable match minutes in a highly competitive Championship, evidenced last season by George Delaney’s rise.
“George took that opportunity with Swinton and it was beneficial for both parties. Any player that gets their chance with the Lions, we expect to match our standards as they are representing both clubs.
“The partnership continues to flourish, and we are excited to be working together again in the 2024 season.”
Swinton have a new man in charge for 2024, with Alan Kilshaw taking charge following Allan Coleman’s departure to Widnes Vikings.
Kilshaw – who himself has made the move to the Lions from League 1 outfit Hunslet – inherits a Swinton side which successfully escaped the drop in the second tier this term.
He added: “I am very grateful to Mike Rush and Paul Wellens for working with us to extend our partnership for the 2024 season.
“The arrangement worked well last season and I’m hoping we can develop it even further. There are benefits for both clubs and I’m confident that we will continue to work well alongside each other to make our dual-registration agreement a great success.”