The Rugby Football League has launched an investigation into a claim that Batley Bulldogs fielded an ineligible player in their crucial win over Sheffield Eagles at the Owlerton Stadium last Sunday.
Second-row forward Jacob Fairbank played for the Kingstone Press Championship club on a dual-registration from Super League neighbours Huddersfield Giants and scored a try in their surprise 28-18 win over the reigning champions.
The Bulldogs beat last Friday’s Championship deadline for signings to lodge Fairbank’s registration, but it is alleged the player had failed to meet the minimum requirement of three matches on dual registration to make him eligible.
“We are aware of an alleged breach of operational rules and have launched an investigation,” said an RFL spokesman.
Batley’s victory, in a repeat of the 2013 Championship Grand Final, took them above Sheffield into sixth place in the table and, with five clubs dropping down to Championship I this year, left the Eagles in relegation trouble.
The RFL has the power to fine and/or deduct competition points if the Bulldogs, who are coached by former Giants and England boss John Kear, are found guilty of the offence.