The Rugby Super League (RSL) confirmed Wednesday that the Chicago Lions have pulled out of the league.
The Lions made the choice due to a new Midwest RFU rule that would preclude virtually any player with Super League experience from playing down in DI.
The Lions did not want to pull out of DI competition and wanted to keep options open for multiple teams, and so pulled out of the Super League to ensure more games for more players.
A statement released by RSL Commissioner Sean Kelly said, in part: “the RSL regrets that the Chicago Lions have decided not to participate in the 2012 season, and instead will be competing in the Midwest D1 Men’s League … Neither the Lions, nor the RSL were given advanced notice of this rule change, and RSL teams had no way of managing their squad last spring to prepare for this rule change.
“It is most unfortunate that the Midwest has retroactively enacted a new rule change that unfairly targets developing RSL players. Prior to this new ruling RSL teams were allowed to play no more than 7 RSL players from the previous season in any D1 game.
“The RSL is disappointed that these new rules were enacted 3 weeks prior to the start of the Midwest’s Fall D1 Men’s season, and that they have forced the Lions to make a decision that determines their future with such little notice.”