Hull Kingston Rovers regret to inform supporters that the club’s home fixture against Castleford has been moved to Friday, 5th June, with club CEO Mike Smith expressing his anger at the situation following a late request from the Tigers.
The match was originally due to be played at the KC Lightstream Stadium on Sunday, 7th June but will now take place two days earlier with an 8pm kick-off.
The fixture, which won’t be televised on Sky Sports, has been rescheduled after the RFL, bound by the circulated written protocol, granted a request from the Castleford club.
Hull Kingston Rovers CEO Mike Smith said: “The RFL has accepted a request from Castleford Tigers to rearrange this fixture and frankly we believe it is a joke to make this ruling so long after the fixtures were released. We received a request to change the fixture in mid-February, which we rejected at the time, and we have been arguing our case for the RFL to overturn their decision ever since.
“As far as we are concerned, the fixtures were signed off by all clubs in October before they were released to supporters and whilst we accept there will be changes during the season due to Sky broadcasting, that is not the reason behind this decision.
“The Tigers are due to face Leeds Rhinos on the Thursday following our game and have sought to reschedule our match on player welfare grounds to allow a longer turnaround. As a club, the safety and welfare of our players is the number one priority but we feel this sets a dangerous precedent for the Super League competition.
“Castleford have known they would be playing Leeds on the Thursday night since mid-October and waited until the middle of February to act, which is totally unfair on our club and our supporters. Sunday afternoon is our traditional kick-off time and to be forced to move away from that in these circumstances leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
“The decision from the RFL has been made on player welfare grounds to allow a minimum of a five-day turnaround between fixtures, yet clubs are asked to play two games in four days over the Easter period. Now that we have progressed through to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter finals, we will also have to arrange a mid-week fixture against Salford Red Devils. Will the RFL be able to accommodate both clubs the way they have with Castleford? I don’t think so.
“The way this has been handled shows a lack of respect to supporters but the fact of the matter is that we will now play Castleford on Friday, 5th June at 8pm and I’m sure Chris Chester and his side will be doing their utmost to continue their strong home record this season.”