RFL may re-open Kopczak deal probe


19th July 2013

The Rugby Football League is to consider re-opening its investigation into allegations that Huddersfield Giants made an illegal approach for Craig Kopczak towards the end of last season.

The League decided there was no case to answer when it investigated Bradford Bulls’ complaint that the Wales captain had been approached by the Giants before he walked out on them on the eve of the penultimate match of the season.

Huddersfield had denied any wrongdoing but agreed to pay £20,000 in compensation to the Bulls at the suggestion of the RFL before formally completing the signing of the 26-year-old prop forward.

However, Kopczak has this week revealed he had agreed to sign for the Giants on August 8, a month before quitting Bradford.

Kopczak's confession came during the Leeds high court case in which former Huddersfield prop Keith Mason successfully argued that he had been unlawfully dismissed by the Giants.

A League spokesman said: "The RFL will be examining the evidence submitted in court to determine whether there was an illegal approach for Kopczak.

"Our own investigation found no case to answer at the time but, if there are inconsistencies in the information supplied, then further investigations may be required."

Mason claimed that Huddersfield needed to offload him, with three years left on his contract, because their signing of Kopczak and fellow front rower Stuart Fielden had taken them close to the salary cap.

The RFL spokesman confirmed there are no salary-cap implications because the regulations allow for such compromise agreements.

Huddersfield have yet to comment on the latest development.