Hull KR granted elite academy licence after 'driving up standards' following an initial snub

Hull KR have been awarded a five-year elite academy licence after convincing the Rugby Football League that they meet the necessary standards.

The RFL's decision to give KR's academy an official rating of 'Good' ends a period of uncertainty for the club.

Rovers were granted a provisional two-year licence last June following a U-turn by the governing body.

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The Robins initially saw their application rejected, throwing the future of their academy into doubt.

Hull KR academy in action this season. (Picture: Hull KR)

The decision to deny KR, Bradford Bulls and Castleford Tigers elite licenses attracted widespread criticism with clubs, fans, current and former players and even local MPs venting their frustration.

Rovers sought an urgent independent review of their application before the RFL backtracked and extended the licences of all three clubs on a trial basis.

After working closely with the RFL over the last 12 months, the Robins have now been awarded an elite licence until the end of 2027.

Hull KR chief executive Paul Lakin said: “We are proud to achieve elite academy licence status.

"It provides the official recognition of all the work and investment we have placed into our academy system.

"Our focus of driving the academy forwards and creating pathways for our younger players has never changed, with several academy players joining the first-team squad this season, and no doubt more to follow in 2023.

"We are also now underpinning the licence with additional sound administrate procedures, welfare support and educational opportunities to support our players' development.

"The elite grading is excellent news for everyone involved in the club and recognition of the hard work Ben [Lazenby], Jason [Netherton] and the academy staff have put in."

Rovers become the 11th club to be granted a full licence, joining Catalans Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors

Dave Rotheram, the RFL’s chief on-field officer, added: “We are pleased to congratulate Hull KR on securing an elite academy licence.

“This is a reward for Ben Lazenby, Jason Netherton and everyone else at the club who have responded so positively to the challenge of driving up the standards in their academy.

“It’s significant news both for the Hull KR club and the young players of Hull and beyond who will benefit from this elite environment over the next five years.

“The licensing process was introduced following widespread recognition that our standards must be elite, and that everyone involved has a responsibility to protect and grow the sport from the community game through to the professional ranks and our national teams.”