England vs France Test Match Excluded from Rugby League Match Limits

England’s Upcoming Test Match in France Excluded from New Rugby League Match Limits

Published: July 7th, 2023 | Source: Love Rugby League

This weekend’s Test match between England and France will not count towards the new Rugby Football League (RFL) match limits introduced for the 2024 season, Love Rugby League has learned.

As part of the major law changes coming into effect next year, the RFL confirmed that professional players will be subject to strict limits on the number of minutes they can play within a 12-month period. For forwards over 22, the limit is set at 25 full game equivalents (2,000 minutes), while backs over 22 are allowed 30 full game equivalents (2,400 minutes).

Younger players have even lower limits, with forwards 22 or under capped at 20 full game equivalents and backs at 25. Those 18 and under have the strictest limits, with forwards limited to 15 full game equivalents and backs to 20.

The RFL is closely monitoring these player workloads throughout the season, working with clubs to ensure they do not exceed the new match limits, which could leave them without key players for the crucial business end of the season.

Significantly, this weekend’s mid-season international fixture between England and France will not count towards the players’ accumulated minutes under the new rules. This is largely due to the fact that the match was not confirmed when the limits were initially introduced.

However, the RFL has indicated that this exemption is likely to change in future years, with international fixtures expected to be scheduled well in advance and thus included in the match limits.

For now, England and France’s players can take the field this weekend without the added pressure of the new match limits, providing a welcome respite as they prepare for the highly anticipated Test match. Whether or not these limits become an issue later in the season remains to be seen, but clubs can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their players will not accrue minutes towards the cap this weekend.

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