Switchover to summer gathers more speed

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More than 80 per cent of all rugby league in the UK will be played between March and November in 2012 following the decision of the community game to largely follow the professionals in making the switch from winter.

The Rugby Football League yesterday unveiled a four-tier pyramid structure comprising the first fully integrated summer-based season.

Super League sits at the top of the pyramid, with the Championships in tier two followed by the Conference divisions and then the regional leagues.

RFL director of participation David Gent said: “The whole sport of rugby league will benefit from having an integrated playing calendar which covers both the professional and community game for the first time.”

The Conferences will continue to be administered by the National Conference League’s management committee, with the RFL responsible for the other three tiers.

Trevor Hunt, National Conference League chairman said: “It’s a new dawn for rugby league and one that we all hope meets the demands of players, administrators and spectators intent on enjoying a sport for the 21st century.”