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Castleford, Huddersfield and Salford fined for breaching rules around Covid

Three of England’s biggest rugby league sides have been punished for failing to adhere to the strict Covid policy enforced by the RFL, the sport’s governing body in England

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The Rugby Football League (RFL) have fined the Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils for not following the governing body’s operation rules surrounding Covid.

Castleford face a £35,000 fine – the most out of the three offending clubs- with £15,000 of that suspended for two years. Castleford’s punishment comes as a result of a number of failings. Firstly, the team failed to fulfil a fixture against St Helens on June 30.

They then broke protocols relating to the virus while on their coach trip back to the town after losing to the same opposition in the Challenge Cup final defeat at Wembley last month.

Following that incident, there was another Covid outbreak in the Castleford team, which forced the league to postpone matches against Leigh Centurions and Catalan Dragons.



Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils were two of the teams fined for breaching the RFL’s protocols
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Image:

Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)




Huddersfield were charged almost the same amount for their own indiscretions.

Their £30,000 charge, which also has £15,000 suspended for two years, is a product of the Giants failing to field a team for their league match against Castleford in July.

Salford received a lesser fine of £25,000 with £12,500 suspended for one year after breaching a number of Covid protocols which meant that two fixtures had to be pushed back- against Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC on July 1 and July 5 respectively.

In a statement on the matter, the RFL said that the teams in question had no excuses for their inability to fulfil their fixtures, and had been warned of the possibility of financial implications before the seasons started.









The statement says: “In the cases the RFL advised that there were no grounds for postponement within the regulatory framework agreed between Super League clubs and the RFL – a framework which differentiates between matches that a club is unable to fulfil for Covid-related reasons and matches a club is unable to play due to other player availability issues.

“The clubs were also warned that failure to fulfil the fixtures could be considered ‘Misconduct’ under the game’s Operational Rules.

“The fines reflect the RFL’s determination to protect the integrity of, and confidence in, professional rugby league competitions.



Huddersfield Giants were charged £30,000 for their indiscretions
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Image:

Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)




“In reaching ‘agreed decisions’ with the clubs, the RFL re-emphasises the sport’s obligations to clubs, supporters, and commercial and broadcaster partners who are affected by such postponements and cancellations.”

All three teams are in action on Thursday.

Castleford face off against Hull FC away from home, while Salford Red Devils host Catalan Dragons and Huddersfield welcome Warrington Wolves to the John Smith’s Stadium.




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