Hull will not be expelled from this year’s Challenge Cup but could face a heavy fine for fielding an ineligible player in the last two rounds. Prop Jamie Thackray who returned to Hull from Leeds on 27 March, moved more than three weeks after the deadline to register players for the competition. The matter has shown that there is a hole in the rules as there is no specific penalty in place for the offence.
A RFL statement read: (quote) In view of the absence of a mandatory provision, the RFL board determined that the results of the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth and fifth-round matches involving Hull FC will stand and the club will continue in the competition. It is, however, clear that playing an ineligible player is a serious breach of the operational rules and the board has referred the matter to the RFL compliance manager to deal with under the misconduct rules. The RFL board intends to review the operational rules relating to competitions and will consider whether the rules should be amended so that offences of this nature will lead to mandatory expulsion from the cup in future seasons. (end quote)