CONTINGENCY planning for the Betfred Super League play-offs has been revealed.

The document highlights alternative arrangements should teams' preparations and availability be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Six teams are to feature in the season's concluding finals series, including Warrington Wolves who begin their run to the Grand Final against Hull FC at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday.

The other four teams involved are League Leaders' Trophy winners Wigan Warriors, reigning champions St Helens, Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.

Huddersfield Giants, who finished seventh, are on stand-by to step in if any team is unable to fulfil its obligations in the first round.

However, the document shows there are reserve dates scheduled with Sky Sports to try and rearrange matches if possible.

And as the series unfolds, teams who have been knocked out may get a second bite of the cherry if a team that progresses is then in the unfortunate position of not being able to continue.

Should The Wire lose to Hull FC on Thursday, they will go into stand-by mode as replacements for any of the semi-finalists unable to fulfil their fixture.

In theory, if the two teams which reach the Grand Final are then not able to play then the two defeated semi-finalists would contend for the title instead at the KCOM Stadium in Hull on Friday, November 27.

Here's a summary of the contingency plans document:

Betfred Super League Play-Offs – Contingency Planning

2020 has been a unique season. This has already involved changes to the structure of the Betfred Super League Play-Off series – and the RFL have worked with Super League Europe and the clubs involved to build in contingency planning so that all are aware of the implications of Covid-19 cases during the series.

These are summarised below.

Round One – Elimination Play-Offs (November 12-13)

Warrington Wolves v Hull FC (Thursday November 12); Catalans Dragons v Leeds Rhinos (Friday November 13).

If any of the four clubs who have qualified for the Elimination Play-Offs by finishing third to sixth in the Betfred Super League table are unable to play on the scheduled date, possible reserve dates have been agreed with Sky.

*The process for requesting a postponement will be as in the regular season – a club would have to prove that a minimum of seven players are unavailable as a result of Covid-19 (either a positive test, or Test and Trace or a Club being required to shutdown by the Multiple Case Group); with the addition that the club would also have to prove how the situation would have changed by the time of a reserve date. The decision will be made by the RFL Board.

If a club is unable to play either on the scheduled date or any of the reserve dates, they will be replaced by Huddersfield Giants, who have been put on stand-by after finishing seventh in the table.

(If two clubs are unable to play, Huddersfield will replace one of them, and the other Elimination Play-Off will be a walkover)

Round Two – Semi Final Play-Offs (November 19-20)

If any of the four clubs who qualify for the Semi Final Play-Offs (Wigan, St Helens and the two Elimination Play-Off winners) are unable to play on the scheduled date, possible reserve dates have been agreed with Sky.

*Process as above

If a club is unable to play either on the scheduled date or any of the reserve dates, they will be replaced by the highest-ranked loser from the Elimination Play-Offs.

(If two clubs are unable to play, both Elimination Play-Off losers will be recalled to the series)

Betfred Super League Grand Final – Friday November 27

There is no reserve date – clubs have stipulated that the season must finish on November 27.

If either of the clubs who have qualified for the Grand Final are unable to play, their place will be taken by the highest-ranked of the Play-Off Semi Final losers (ranking determined by position in the final league table).

(If both of the Semi Final winners are unable to play, or if one of the Semi Final winners and the highest-ranked Semi Final losers are unable to play, then the lowest-ranked Semi Final losers would step up.)


The six clubs involved in the Play-Off series, plus Huddersfield Giants, will have a round of Covid-19 testing on the morning Monday November 9.

The next round of testing will be on Monday November 16, for Wigan, St Helens and the four teams involved in the Elimination Play-Offs.

Testing ahead of the Grand Final, for all four Semi Finalists, will be conducted on the morning of Monday November 23.

Flexibility has been built into this schedule to address any changes in the Play-Off schedule as a result of positive tests (the use of reserve days for Elimination Play-Offs or Semi Final Play-Offs), and to arrange further rounds of tests as deemed necessary.