Halifax Panthers can today announce a new Dual Registration partnership with Super League side Leeds Rhinos for the 2024 season. The Panthers have been linked with Castleford Tigers previously but will now build new ties with Rohan Smith’s side at Headingley Stadium.

The partnership will see the Panthers able to utilise members of the Rhinos squad in our matchday line ups as well as offering players to the Leeds reserve grade system, further developing the good working relationship between the two West Yorkshire clubs.

Head Coach Liam Finn commented: “I’m grateful to Leeds Rhinos and Rohan for selecting us as their partners. We are committed to making it work and benefit both clubs. In the Championship where it’s difficult to get your non players from the weekend match fitness and therefore it makes it very difficult for any player who has missed out on selection for a few weeks to come in and do their job well and strongly enough to maintain their place in the team. For this reason we have made a conscious decision to opt away from backfilling our squad for the sake of quantity. Leeds Rhinos are a benchmark club for how they run and conduct themselves and as a club we can learn a lot from them away from the rugby field too.”

“We feel we can offer young Rhinos a professional environment with our own quality experienced players when they come to us and aid their development whilst not missing out on training with Leeds whilst also having fixtures available in the Reserves system to keep them actively playing. We know from last year how demanding the Championship is especially if you do well in the cup so we feel this will provide us with flexibility in our squad and opportunity for Leeds players.”

CEO of the Halifax Panthers Damian Clayton continued: “I am thrilled to announce our fantastic dual registration partnership with Leeds Rhinos for the 2024 season. This collaboration represents a significant milestone in the evolution of our club and a clear signal of our intent. Aligning ourselves with a club that are in IMG’s terms ‘Best in Class’ demonstrates our commitment to fostering rugby league talent and strengthening the club’s competitive landscape. Our partnership with Leeds Rhinos is a strategic move that promises mutual benefits across both the Men’s and Women’s disciplines.”

“For the Rhinos, it’s an avenue to provide their players with crucial game-time experience, enhancing their development in a competitive environment. For the Halifax Panthers, this partnership means access to a pool of talented players who can significantly bolster our squad’s depth and competitiveness. As we look ahead to the 2024 season, with the close relationship already established across the respective coaching groups, I am confident that this partnership will flourish to bring a new level of excitement and quality to our games. It’s a win-win for both clubs and a shining example of how collaboration and strategic partnerships can drive the sport of rugby league forward”.

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith said: “Halifax is a club that we have had a close link with for a number of years through our assistant coach Scott Grix. Liam Finn has spent time with us this pre-season and we have already been able to welcome a number of their players to join us in pre-season. They have a good set up that will benefit our young players when they go there on dual registration and that is important for their development. I look forward to seeing this relationship develop this season and hopefully in the years ahead.”



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