IT will be mandatory for English Super League clubs to run a reserve-grade team from next season.

The RFL and Super League have confirmed all 11 England-based top-flight clubs have approved the return of a reserves competition for 2020.

Regulations surrounding academies will also change, with the Academy Super League becoming an under 18s competition as opposed to under 19s.

The Wire last ran a reserve grade in 2017 but have been advocates of a mandatory competition returning.

"We have listened to the views of stakeholders - clubs, coaches and players - before making this proposal," said Dave Rotherham, the RFL's interim Chief On-Field Officer.

"The majority view is that the game would benefit from the reintroduction of a reserve-grade competition, primarily as a next step in the development of players between academy and senior rugby, but also to provide regular rugby for players on the fringe of selection, returning from injury and a platform for later developers.

"It was important in making what is a significant change that we also took into account the impact on the other professional competitions - Betfred Championship and League One - and also the community game."

Super League CEO Robert Elstone added: “Super League is about superstars - players that get us on the edge of our seats, players that make our jaws drop, players that inspire us.

“Our success will depend on our ability to find, nurture and create the superstars of tomorrow.

“It's why development pathways like this are so critical to the future success of the game.

“It is essential that we offer appropriate challenges to our young players on their journeys into Super League.

“A well-managed, resourced and competitive reserve grade will provide that.”

Clubs outside Super League that have Category One funded academies – namely Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls – have also been mandated to take part.

Five further applications from clubs in the Championship and League One have also been made, with decisions expected by the end of July.