Part-time clubs not expected to travel to Toulouse with quarantine in place

Part-time teams in the Betfred Championship will not be required to fulfil away fixtures against Toulouse while the current quarantine regulations remain in place, the Rugby Football League has announced.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:40 am
Part-time teams in the Betfred Championship will not be required to fulfil away fixtures against Toulouse while the current quarantine regulations remain in place. Picture: SWPix

Amended UK Government regulations require players and staff to isolate for at least five days on their return from France, which creates a headache for the 10 clubs whose players have full-time jobs outside rugby league.

It means Toulouse’s home fixtures against Featherstone and Widnes, scheduled for May 1 and 8 respectively, will be postponed but their first home match of the season, against London Broncos on April 18, will go ahead because the Broncos are full-time.

The RFL had already announced that positions in the league table in 2021 will be determined by win points percentage to allow for the possibility of incomplete fixture list.

Clubs are required to have played 70 per cent of their fixtures to be eligible for the top six play-offs but the RFL board has ruled that any matches involving Toulouse that become casualties of the quarantine regulations will not count as postponed so neither they or their opponents are penalised for circumstances beyond their control.

A spokesman said: “The RFL board appreciate that this is a complex issue and that the landscape regarding international travel is likely to evolve further over the coming weeks and months.

“However, it has reached the above having weighed up the competing factors and believes that it is in the overall interests of the competition.”

Catalans Dragons’ home matches are not affected because the Super League clubs are all full-time and their players re-enter their “bubble” on return from France.