Section B6: Internationals/Representative Matches

B6:1 The Clubs agree that:

  1. The RFL shall have the sole and exclusive responsibility for Representative Matches;
  2. The RFL shall have the sole and exclusive responsibility for the senior representative team which shall be referred to as "England" and also for “Great Britain & Ireland”;
  3. The RFL shall have the sole and exclusive responsibility for the home international teams representing the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales;
  4. The RFL shall be entitled to field representative teams at county and international reserve (England Knights), U21, U18 U17 U16 and U15 levels and such other representative teams as may be determined by the Board; and
  5. They will give priority to such Representative Matches as may be agreed in accordance with Bye Law Section B6:2 below over any other Match (including, but not by way of limitation, Cup Ties and League Matches).

B6:2 The Board shall formulate and publish a programme of Representative Matches and training sessions at the beginning of each calendar year in consultation with SLE and shall have due and proper regard to SLE's reasonable representations so as to preserve the integrity of the Super League competition and shall liaise with the RLIF or national governing bodies of other Rugby League playing nations. The Clubs agree to comply with such programme as the Board may specify.

B6:3 All decisions regarding eligibility for Representative Matches shall be determined by the RLIF (in the case of "country") or the Board (in the case of "county") who shall place the matter before its next meeting in each case. They may request that the player shall provide such documentary evidence as it may think fit in order to prove his eligibility. The player shall provide the documentation within 7 days of such request and in any event not later than 7 days prior to any relevant Representative Match.

B6:4 A professional player selected to play in a Representative Match, who refuses to play in such match, shall not be permitted to play for his Club either on the day of the Representative Match itself or during the period for which he would have been required to be absent on representative duty, and such player may be adjudged by the Board to have been guilty of misconduct by refusing to play. Notwithstanding any other provision in these Operational Rules, a player shall be entitled by prompt written notice to request permission from the Board to withdraw from such Representative Match, setting out reasons for wishing to do so. If, in the opinion of the Board, he has a legitimate reason for doing so and has submitted his request promptly, the Board shall notify the Player that he is entitled to his withdrawal.

B6:5 Each Club agrees to release any player who is selected to play in a Representative Match/or who is selected to take part in a Representative squad training session throughout the period in which such player is reasonably required by the squad provided always that all squad training sessions should be fixed so as not to interfere with the integrity of the Super League season except for such sessions as are agreed pursuant to Bye Law Section B6:2 above.

B6:6 A player who plays in a full international Representative Match level against another country for the first time shall receive free of charge an international cap. A player selected as an interchange who does not take part in any match shall not count that match as qualification for this award.

B6:7 In the event of a Representative Match being played during the Season a player selected in the squad for a Representative Match shall not play for his Club within the period from the preceding Monday to the date of the Representative Match, without the prior written consent of the Board. The Board shall determine, as regards players selected in the squad for a Representative Match scheduled for a midweek date when those players can play for their Club. For this purposes an international or other recognised representative squad shall comprise no more than 25 players unless the Board directs otherwise.

B6:8 A player declared unfit by a medical official of the international or other recognised representative squad for which he has been selected, and consequently released from that squad, may if his Club so wishes play for his Club or any other team during the period in which he would otherwise have been required to be on international or other representative duty (i.e. the time during which the squad is reasonably required including for travelling, training, coaching and playing). For the avoidance of doubt, the medical officer of a Club cannot unilaterally withdraw a player.

B6:9 A player who withdraws from an international or other recognised representative squad of his own accord, and not having been declared unfit by the medical official of the relevant squad, shall not unless permitted by the Board be allowed to play for his Club or any other team during the period in which he would otherwise have been required to be on international or other representative "duty" had he remained with that squad.

B6:10 A Club which has four or more players required for a Representative Match or Representative Matches which is/are recognised by the Board played over the same weekend (ie. Friday to Sunday inclusive) as a League Match, may postpone that League Match provided at least seven days' written notice is given to its opponents. A Club with fewer than four players on representative duty which is required to provide a fourth representative player within seven days of a League Match may postpone that League Match provided that written notice is given to their opponents no later than the Thursday prior to a Saturday or Sunday fixture or, in the case of a fixture on any other day no less than 48 hours prior to the commencement of that fixture.

B6:11 In the case of Representative Matches scheduled to be played on a midweek date, a Club which has four or more players required for representative duty may postpone a League Match scheduled or rearranged for that date, provided that at least seven days' written notice is given to its opponents. A Club which has fewer than four players on representative duty which is then required to provide a fourth representative player within seven days of a League Match scheduled or rearranged for a midweek date may postpone that League fixture provided that written notice is given to its opponents no less than 48 hours prior to the commencement of that fixture.

B6:12 In each of the cases described in Bye Law Section B6:11 above:

  1. the Club concerned shall also send a copy of any such notice to the RFL; and
  2. the postponed fixture shall be rearranged in accordance with the relevant Operational Rules; and for these and other purposes within these Operational Rules, an Academy player must have played no fewer than four first-team matches (including playing substitute appearances) before he shall be counted as one of the four players.

B6:13 Whilst there are separate training squads for the England Mens’ Senior Team and the England Knights, players may be selected from either training squad to be part of a squad in relation to a particular Representative Match

B6:14 The Board shall appoint three persons to represent the RFL on the RLIF Board (or such greater or lesser number of representatives as may from time to time be specified under the RLIF Regulations). These representatives shall consist of the Chairman for the time being of the RFL and two others who may or may not be Directors.

B6:15 Each Club agrees to be bound by and comply with the RLIF Regulations. If any of the RLIF Regulations conflicts with any part of these Operational Rules, then the former shall prevail unless the Board decides otherwise.