Leeds Rhinos have been refused permission to loan Kylie Leuluai to neighbours Hunslet due to the terms of his visa.
The Rhinos have a partnership with the Hawks in which players not currently playing in the senior squad can be dual registered with the Championship club.
Leuluai and fellow front rower Richard Moore were due to turn out for Hunslet against Leigh on Sunday but the RFL say that, under the terms of his visa, Samoan Leuluai is unable to be dual registered.
The ruling, which only affects overseas players, is likely to have a major impact across rugby league, with the Super League's U20s competition, which was used to keep fringe players active, scrapped as a cost-cutting measure.
A League spokesman said: "The RFL has recently lobbied the UK Border Agency for a change to the rules which prevent players on tier-two visas playing for a second club on a short-term arrangement.
"This follows on from changes to the Super League Academy structure, which from 2013 is an exclusively Under-19s competition, an arrangement that means open-age overseas tier-two visa players returning from injury cannot gain match fitness on short-term loans or dual registrations.
"Dialogue with the UKBA continues but the UKBA have confirmed that, until any change in circumstance is agreed, under existing provisions no player on a tier two visa can be dual registered."
Leeds reacted with disappointment to the ruling, with chief executive Gary
Hetherington criticising the role of the RFL.
"This decision is purely down to bureaucracy and red tape and it is so disappointing that Rugby League players are treated differently to other professional sportsmen and how little influence our governing body seem to have compared to other sports," he told the club's official website.
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