Super League

The Super League (SL), sponsored as the Betfred Super League and officially known as Super League Europe,[1][2] is the top-level of the British rugby league system. The league currently has twelve teams, eleven of which are from Northern England, reflecting the sport's geographic popularity within the UK. The final team is Catalans Dragons, from southern France.

The Super League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event Super League XXVI
Super League logo 2017.jpg
The competition's 2017–19 logo
SportRugby league
Founded1996; 25 years ago (1996)
No. of teams12
Country England
 France
Most recent
champion(s)
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
(8th title)
Most titlesRhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
(8 titles)
TV partner(s)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toChampionship
Domestic cup(s)Challenge Cup
International cup(s)World Club Challenge
Official websiteSuper League

The Super League began in 1996, replacing the existing First Division and, significantly, switching from a traditional winter season to a summer season.

Each team plays 29 games between February and September: 11 home games, 11 away games, Magic Weekend and an additional 6 'loop fixtures' decided by league positions. The top six then enter the play-off series leading to the Grand Final which determines the champions. The bottom team is relegated to the Championship.

The Super League champions play the National Rugby League champions from Australasia in the World Club Challenge at the start of the following season.

HistoryEdit

1996–2001: EstablishmentEdit

A "super league" competition was first mooted during the Australian Super League war as a way for Rupert Murdoch to gain the upper hand during the battle for broadcasting supremacy with the Australian Rugby League. Murdoch also approached the British clubs to form an equivalent northern hemisphere Super League. A £77 million offer[3] and an £87 million payment[4] aided the decision, and the competition got under way in 1996. Part of the deal saw rugby league switch from a winter to a summer season. The 12 founding teams of Super League were:

Initially, several mergers between existing clubs were proposed:

They were to be included in the new Super League with the following stand-alone clubs: Bradford Northern, Halifax, Leeds, London Broncos, Paris Saint-Germain, St Helens and Wigan.

However this proposal proved hugely unpopular as it would have meant the end of many historic and viable clubs, and consequently only existing clubs were selected for the competition. The clubs finishing below 10th in the existing top flight were excluded, which meant Featherstone Rovers, Hull, Wakefield Trinity and Widnes were left out, as were Keighley who had just won the Second Division Championship. London Broncos, who had come fourth in the Second Division, were "fast-tracked" in with the RFL arguing it was an absolute commercial necessity to have a presence in the nation's capital city. A brand new team, Paris Saint-Germain, was created to give the new league a French dimension. Between 1998 and 2000 there was no relegation from the Super League.

2002–2008: Promotion and relegationEdit

After two years Paris were dropped from the competition. Promotion and relegation between Super League and the Rugby League National Leagues was re-introduced, and in 2002 the Super League governing body re-integrated fully into the Rugby Football League (RFL). In 2006, French side Catalans Dragons (also known as UTC or Les Catalans) from Perpignan joined the league, becoming the second non-English team to compete. To facilitate this move, two clubs were relegated from Super League at the end of the 2005 season: Leigh who finished bottom of the league were replaced by the one club coming up from the National Leagues and Widnes who finished 11th (and would have stayed up any other year) were dropped for Les Catalans, thus the number of clubs in Super League remained at 12.

2009–2014: LicensingEdit

Super League licences were announced in May 2005 by the RFL as the new determinant of the Super League competition's participants from 2009 in place of the traditional promotion and relegation between leagues. The licences were awarded after consideration of more factors than simply the on-the-field performance of a club.[5] After 2007 automatic promotion and relegation was suspended for Super League with new teams to be admitted on a licence basis with the term of the licence to start in 2009.[5]

The RFL stated that clubs applying to compete in Super League would be assessed by criteria in four areas (stadium facilities, finance and business performance, commercial and marketing and playing strength, including junior production and development) with the final evaluations and decisions being taken by the RFL board of directors.[6]

Successful applicants were licensed for three years of Super League competition and[7] three-yearly reviews of Super League membership took place to ensure ambitious clubs lower down the leagues can still be successful.[6]

Points attained by each club's application are translated into licence grades A, B or C. Clubs who achieved an A or B Licence would be automatically awarded a place in the Super League, while those who achieved a C Licence underwent further scrutiny before the RFL decided who made the final cut.[8]

First licensing period

In June 2008, the RFL confirmed that the Super League would be expanded from 12 teams to 14 in 2009,[9][10] and on 22 July 2008 the RFL confirmed the teams awarded licences.[11] The teams announced were the 12 existing Super League teams along with National League 1 teams, Celtic Crusaders and Salford. Celtic Crusaders becoming the first Welsh team to play in Super League and the only team to be awarded a licence who had never played in the Super League previously.

Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh and Widnes all failed to attain a licence. Leigh and Widnes, especially, were disappointed with their exclusions with Leigh's chairman being extremely critical of the RFL.[12]

Second licensing period

For the 2012–14 seasons Championship sides Batley, Barrow, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax and Widnes all met the on-field criteria needed to submit an application,[13] but despite this only Barrow, Halifax and Widnes decided to submit an application.[14] On 31 March 2011 Widnes were awarded a Super League licence; Barrow, did not meet the criteria and were refused a licence; and Halifax's application was to be further considered alongside the other Super League clubs.[15]

The Rugby Football League's final decision was announced on 26 July 2011, Widnes would be joining thirteen existing Super League teams with Crusaders RL having withdrawn their application and Halifax not meeting the criteria.[16] Crusaders CEO Rod Findlay stated that the club's finances were not in a good enough condition to justify their place in Super League.[17] Halifax chairman Mark Steele was critical of the decision to award Wakefield a licence over themselves, saying "If you compare Belle Vue with the Shay, it's no contest; if you compare playing records, it's no contest; and if you compare the financial position, we have kept our head above water and they haven't."[17] Wakefield had been favourites to lose their licence before Crusaders' withdrawal.[17]

2015–2018: Super 8sEdit

At the 2013 Annual General Meeting at Bradford, the Super League clubs agreed to reduce the number of clubs to 12 from 2015, and also for a return of Promotion and Relegation with a 12 club Championship.[18]

The 12 First Utility Super League and 12 Kingstone Press Championship clubs played each other home and away over 22 "rounds", plus a Magic Weekend for both divisions, making a 23-game regular season. Following the conclusion of their regular league seasons, the 24 clubs then competed in a play-off series where they split into 3 leagues of 8 based upon league position:[19][20]

  • The top 8 Super League clubs continued to compete in the Super 8s. After playing each other once (either home or away), the top 4 clubs progressed to the semi-finals to determine who competed in the Grand Final to be crowned champions.
  • The remaining (bottom 4) Super League clubs and the top 4 Championship clubs competed in The Qualifiers. They played each other once (either home or away) to determine which four of the clubs would compete in Super League the following year.

Funding for clubs was tiered in both leagues to prevent relegation-related financial difficulties.

In June 2015 8 of the 12 Super League clubs voted to allow a Marquee Player that could exceed a clubs salary cap as long as they can afford their wages. The marquee player rule came into force for the 2016 Super League season.

2019–onwards: Super League split from RFLEdit

On 14 September 2018, an EGM was called to discuss the future of the sport and a change in structure, as the clubs were in favour of scrapping the Super 8s in favour of a more conventional structure.[21] The Super League clubs voted to split from the RFL and appoint their own CEO to have more control over TV and sponsorship money as well as scrapping the Super 8s but retaining promotion and relegation to appease the Championship clubs.[22] After the 2020 season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom there were calls made from Super League clubs for the two executive bodies – Super League and the RFL – to re-amalgamate.[23]

As of 14 December 2020, it was decided by unanimous vote that the Leigh Centurions would take the 12th spot in the 26th Super League season, replacing the Toronto Wolfpack who withdrew from the league as a result of financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. This came after the RFL temporarily removed promotion and relegation for the 2020 season in response to the pandemic.[24]

Sky Sports TV deal for the Super League and lower divisions was cut from £40 million to £25 million per year for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.[25]

StructureEdit

Super League regular seasonEdit

12 teams compete in the Super League. They play each other twice on a home-and-away basis, interrupted by the Magic Weekend round in May. The 12 clubs also play 6 loop fixtures to bring the number of games in a season to 29. The team finishing bottom after 29 rounds collects the Wooden Spoon, and is relegated, while the team finishing first is awarded the League Leaders Shield. The top 5 teams at the end of the season enter the playoffs.

Super League adopted Golden point during regular season for the first time in 2019, bringing it in line with the NRL which had been using the system since 2003.[26]

Magic WeekendEdit

In an attempt to expand out of the traditional rugby league "heartlands", and promote the game to a wider audience, the RFL has staged games in large stadiums in places without an existing rugby league presence. The "Magic Weekend" concept, which involves staging an entire round of Super League matches over a weekend in a single stadium, was first staged in Cardiff in 2007. Dubbed "Millennium Magic", and played in the Millennium Stadium, it proved popular with spectators and the concept was held in Cardiff again in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, the event was held in Edinburgh at the Scottish national rugby union stadium, Murrayfield, giving rise to the name changing to "Murrayfield Magic". Generally held during the May Day bank holiday weekend, 2011 saw the Magic Weekend return to Cardiff, and was this time held during the weekend 12–13 February 2011 and served as the season's opening week. From 2014 to 2018, the event was held at St James' Park in Newcastle. In 2019, the event was held at Anfield in Liverpool, before returning to Newcastle for the 2020 season.

Play-offsEdit

The play-offs have had various formats. St. Helens are the only team to take part in every play-off series since the inaugural series in 1998.

For 2021 Super League XXVI will use the same six team format used in 2020;[27] comprising three rounds. In round one, the elimination finals, the teams finishing 3rd to 6th play each other with the winners progressing to round two. Round two, the semi-finals, sees the teams finishing 1st and 2nd playing the winners of the two elimination finals. The two winners of the semi-finals meet in the Grand Final.

Grand FinalEdit

 
Leeds Rhinos celebrating following their 2008 Grand Final victory

The Grand Final is the championship-deciding game and showpiece event of the Super League season. It is held annually at Old Trafford, with the exception of 2020 when it was hosted at KCOM Stadium in Hull in front of no supporters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Stadium Years
  Manchester Old Trafford 1998–2019
  Hull KCOM Stadium 2020
  Manchester Old Trafford 2021–

Largest attendance

Year City Stadium Attendance
2015   Manchester Old Trafford 73,512

Other competitionsEdit

Challenge CupEdit

The Challenge Cup is a separate cup competition, involving clubs from Super League and all levels of rugby league in Britain. It has been held annually since 1896 and has been expanded to teams in Canada, Serbia, Ireland, Russia, France, Scotland and Wales can take part. The cup runs throughout the season, and the final is usually played on the August bank holiday at Wembley Stadium. Before Super League began in 1996, the final used to take place at Wembley Stadium at the end of April or the start of May, usually 2 weeks after the regular season ended.

ClubsEdit

Current clubsEdit

Super League clubs
Colours Club Established City/Town Stadium Capacity* Titles (Last)**
 
Castleford Tigersa 1926 Castleford, West Yorkshire Wheldon Road 11,775 0 (N/A)
 
Catalans Dragons 2000 Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales Gilbert Brutus Stadium 13,000 0 (N/A)
 
Huddersfield Giantsc 1864 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire Kirklees Stadium 24,500 7 (1962)
 
Hull F.C.c 1865 Hull, East Yorkshire KCOM Stadium 25,400 6 (1983)
 
Hull Kingston Rovers 1882 Hull, East Yorkshire Craven Park 12,225 5 (1985)
 
Leeds Rhinosabc 1870 Leeds, West Yorkshire Headingley Stadium 19,700 11 (2017)
 
Leigh Centurions 1878 Leigh, Greater Manchester Leigh Sports Village 12,000 2 (1982)
 
Salford Red Devils 1873 Salford, Greater Manchester Salford City Stadium 12,000 6 (1976)
 
St Helensabc 1873 St Helens, Merseyside Totally Wicked Stadium 18,000 15 (2020)
 
Wakefield Trinityc 1873 Wakefield, West Yorkshire Belle Vue 9,333 2 (1968)
 
Warrington Wolvesab 1876 Warrington, Cheshire Halliwell Jones Stadium 15,200 3 (1955)
 
Wigan Warriorsabc 1872 Wigan, Greater Manchester DW Stadium 25,133 22 (2018)

a: Founding member of the Super League
b: Appeared in every Super League season since 1996
c: One of the original 22 RFL teams

  • **includes First Division titles won prior to the inaugural Super League season in 1996, which are officially considered to be part of the Super League lineage
Current Champions

Former Super League clubsEdit

Former Super League clubs
Colours Club Seasons in
Super League
First season in
Super League
Last season in
Super League
Last top
division title**
 
London Broncos 20 1996 2019 N/A
 
Bradford Bulls 19 1996 2014 2005
 
Widnes Vikings 11 2002 2018 1989
 
Halifax Panthers 8 1996 2003 1985–86
 
Sheffield Eagles 4 1996 1999 N/A
 
Celtic Crusaders §[a] 3 2009 2011 N/A
 
Oldham 2 1996 1997 1956–57
 
Paris Saint-Germain § 2 1996 1997 N/A
 
Gateshead Thunder § 1 1999 1999 N/A
 
Workington Town 1 1996 1996 1950–51
 
Toronto Wolfpack 1 2020 2020 N/A

All Time Super League tableEdit

Current Super League team
§ Club defunct
Pos. Club Seasons P W D L PD Pts
1   St. Helens 25 663 470 15 178 7,581 953
2   Wigan 25 664 443 24 197 6,961 904
3   Leeds 25 648 406 17 225 4,815 829
4   Warrington 25 657 348 13 296 1,869 709
5   Hull F.C. 23 621 305 21 295 135 629
6   Bradford 19 509 308 17 184 3367 617
7   Castleford 23 609 282 20 307 −1,123 584
8   Huddersfield 22 584 251 14 319 -1,386 516
9   Wakefield 22 589 215 7 367 −3,824 433
10   London 20 538 195 20 323 -3,718 410
11   Salford 22 566 191 8 367 −4,794 382
12   Catalans 15 390 176 11 203 -950 363
13   Hull KR 13 320 133 10 177 -984 276
14   Widnes 11 292 97 8 187 −2,483 202
15   Halifax 8 209 76 4 129 −1262 154
16   Sheffield 4 97 37 3 57 −636 77
17   Gateshead § 1 30 19 1 10 199 39
18   Crusaders § [a] 3 81 21 0 60 −1032 38
19   Oldham 2 44 13 2 29 −378 28
20   Paris § 2 44 9 1 34 −607 19
21   Leigh 2 51 8 1 42 955 17
22   Workington 1 22 2 1 19 −696 5
23   Toronto 1 Withdrew after 7 rounds

Points deductionsEdit

Year Club Points Reason
2001   Wakefield Trinity 2 Salary Cap Breach
2003   Halifax 2 Salary Cap Breach
  Hull F.C. 2 Salary Cap Breach
  St. Helens 2 Salary Cap Breach
2006   Bradford Bulls 2 Salary Cap Breach
  Wigan Warriors 2 Salary Cap Breach
2007   Bradford Bulls 2 Salary Cap Breach
  Wigan Warriors 4 Salary Cap Breach
2011   Wakefield Trinity 4 Administration
  Crusaders 4 Administration
2012   Bradford Bulls 6 Administration
2013   Salford Red Devils 2 Fielding Extra Man
2014   Bradford Bulls 6 Administration
2016   Salford Red Devils 6 Salary Cap Breach

AcademiesEdit

Reserve leagueEdit

In 2014 and 2015 Super League clubs were unhappy with the Dual registration system and wanted to form an under-23 reserve leagues between the under-19s and first teams. Wigan, Warrington and St Helens were the first teams to propose the return of the reserve league where players could move from the under 19s and play with professional players before playing in the first team. A reserve league was set up in 2016 with a mixture of Super League, Championship and League 1 teams.

Dual registrationEdit

Dual registration refers to an arrangement between clubs whereby a player continues to be registered to his current Super League club and is also registered to play for a club in the Championship. The system is aimed at young Super League players who are thought to be not quite ready to make the step up to 'week in, week out' Super League first team duties but for whom first team match experience is likely to be beneficial for their development.[28]

  • Only Super League players can be dual registered and the receiving club must be a club in the Championships, meaning that Super League to Super League club dual registrations are not available.
  • A dual registered player will be eligible to play and train with both clubs in a format agreed between the clubs, subject to registration, salary cap and competition eligibility rules.
  • The player is restricted to playing in one fixture per scheduled round of fixtures in any given week and would not be eligible to play for his Super League club on a Thursday and in a Championship fixture at the weekend, for example.
  • A receiving club will be limited to five dual registered players per matchday squad.

Under 19sEdit

In 2017 the following teams will run in each of the Senior Academy divisions:[29]Super League Academy – U19s:

ChampionsEdit

The league format changed in 1998 and the championship became a play-off series to determine the Super League champions. This meant a reintroduction of a final to determine the European champions, the first since the 1972–73 season. For the first 2 seasons of Super League, there was no Grand Final – The winners of the league were the team that finished top, as before in the previous Championship leagues.

Season Champions Score Runners-up League Leaders
I
  St. Helens N/A   Wigan Warriors   St. Helens[b]
II
  Bradford Bulls   London Broncos   Bradford Bulls[b]
III
  Wigan Warriors 10–4   Leeds Rhinos   Wigan Warriors
IV
  St. Helens 8–6   Bradford Bulls   Bradford Bulls
V
  St. Helens 29–16   Wigan Warriors   Wigan Warriors
VI
  Bradford Bulls 37–6   Wigan Warriors   Bradford Bulls
VII
  St. Helens 19–18   Bradford Bulls   St. Helens
VIII
  Bradford Bulls 25–12   Wigan Warriors   Bradford Bulls
IX
  Leeds Rhinos 16–8   Bradford Bulls   Leeds Rhinos
X
  Bradford Bulls 15–6   Leeds Rhinos   St. Helens
XI
  St. Helens 26–4   Hull   St. Helens
XII
  Leeds Rhinos 33–6   St. Helens   St. Helens
XIII
  Leeds Rhinos 24–16   St. Helens   St. Helens
XIV
  Leeds Rhinos 18–10   St. Helens   Leeds Rhinos
XV
  Wigan Warriors 22–10   St. Helens   Wigan Warriors
XVI
  Leeds Rhinos 32–16   St. Helens   Warrington Wolves
XVII
  Leeds Rhinos 26–18   Warrington Wolves   Wigan Warriors
XVIII
  Wigan Warriors 30–16   Warrington Wolves   Huddersfield Giants
XIX
  St. Helens 14–6   Wigan Warriors   St. Helens
XX
  Leeds Rhinos 22–20   Wigan Warriors   Leeds Rhinos
XXI
  Wigan Warriors 12–6   Warrington Wolves   Warrington Wolves
XXII
  Leeds Rhinos 24–6   Castleford Tigers   Castleford Tigers
XXIII
  Wigan Warriors 12–4   Warrington Wolves   St. Helens
XXIV
  St. Helens 23–6   Salford Red Devils   St. Helens
XXV
  St. Helens 8–4   Wigan Warriors   Wigan Warriors
XXVI
  Catalans Dragons

ResultsEdit

Club Wins Runners
up
Winning Years
1   St. Helens 8 5 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2019, 2020
  Leeds Rhinos 8 2 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
3   Wigan Warriors 5 6 1998, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018
4   Bradford Bulls 4 3 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005
5   Warrington Wolves 0 4 N/A
6   Castleford Tigers 0 1 N/A
  Hull F.C. 0 1 N/A
  London Broncos 0 1 N/A
  Salford Red Devils 0 1 N/A

The DoubleEdit

In rugby league, the term 'the Double' refers to the achievement of a club that wins both the top division and the Challenge Cup in the same season. To date, this has been achieved by ten different clubs in total, four of which occasions have been during the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
1   Wigan Warriors 7 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93,
1993–94, 1994–95, 2013
2   St. Helens 3 1965–66, 1996, 2006
3   Huddersfield Giants 2 1912–13, 1914–15
4   Broughton Rangers 1 1901–02
5   Halifax 1 1902–03
6   Hunslet F.C. § 1 1907–08
7   Swinton Lions 1 1927–28
8   Warrington Wolves 1 1953–54
9   Bradford Bulls 1 2003
10   Leeds Rhinos 1 2015

The TrebleEdit

The Treble refers to the team who wins all three domestic honours on offer during the season; Grand Final, League Leaders' Shield and Challenge Cup. To date seven teams have won the treble, only Bradford Bulls, St. Helens and Leeds Rhinos have won the treble in the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
1
  Wigan Warriors
3 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95
2
  Huddersfield Giants
2 1912–13, 1914–15
3
  St. Helens
2 1965–66, 2006
4
  Hunslet F.C.
1 1907–08
5
  Swinton Lions
1 1927–28
6
  Bradford Bulls
1 2003
7
  Leeds Rhinos
1 2015

The QuadrupleEdit

The Quadruple refers to winning the Super League, League Leaders' Shield, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge in one season.

Club Wins Winning years
1   Wigan 1 1994–95
2   Bradford 1 2003–04
3   St Helens 1 2006–07

Teams removedEdit

Year Teams Relegated Other Removals
1996   Workington Town
1997   Oldham Bears   Paris Saint Germain[30]
1998: No relegation[31]
1999 No relegation[32]   Gateshead Thunder merged with   Hull Sharks to form Hull FC
  Sheffield Eagles and   Huddersfield Giants merged to form Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants
2000: No relegation[33]
2001   Huddersfield Giants
2002   Salford City Reds
2003   Halifax
2004   Castleford Tigers
2005   Widnes Vikings
  Leigh Centurions
2006   Castleford Tigers[34]
2007   Salford City Reds
2008–2013: No relegation due to licensing system   Crusaders RL (2011) [35]
2014   London Broncos
  Bradford Bulls[36]
2015 None[37]
2016   Hull Kingston Rovers
2017   Leigh Centurions
2018   Widnes Vikings
2019   London Broncos
2020 None   Toronto Wolfpack[38]
2021   Leigh Centurions

AwardsEdit

League Leaders' ShieldEdit

The League Leaders' Shield is awarded to the team finishing the regular season top of Super League; this is also known as a minor premiership. The League Leader's Shield was introduced only in 2003, previously no prize was awarded to the team finishing top following the introduction of the Grand Final.

Club Wins Winning years
1   St. Helens 9 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2018, 2019
2   Wigan Warriors 5 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012, 2020
3   Bradford Bulls 4 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003
4   Leeds Rhinos 3 2004, 2009, 2015
5   Warrington Wolves 2 2011, 2016
6   Huddersfield Giants 1 2013
7   Castleford Tigers 1 2017
8   Catalans Dragons 1 2021

Super League TrophyEdit

The winner of the Grand Final is given the Super League Trophy as Super League Champions. This is considered more prestigious than the minor premiership. Each year, the year of a champion team's triumph, team name and team Rugby league football captain are engraved.

The record for most Super League titles won is held by St Helens and Leeds with eight titles. Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield currently holds the record for captaining the most Super League title winning sides after captaining Leeds to their first 7 grand final successes. St. Helens contested the final 6 years in a row (from 2006 until 2011) during which time they succeeded only once in lifting the trophy against Hull F.C. in 2006; after which they suffered consecutive defeats against Leeds in 2007, 2008, 2009, Wigan in 2010 and Leeds once again in 2011. However, St. Helens made a victorious return in 2014, defeating rivals, Wigan 14–6 and have since won a further two grand finals, defeating Salford in 2019 and Wigan again, in 2020.

Following their 2014, 2015 and 2020 defeats to St. Helens and Leeds, Wigan have now broken St Helens's record of losing five Grand Finals, losing a total of six. Hull FC (2006), Warrington (2012, 2013, 2016, and 2018), Castleford (2017), and Salford (2019) have all appeared in the Grand Final but never won.

Steve Prescott Man of Steel awardEdit

The Man of Steel Award is an annual award for the best player of the season in Super League. It has continued from pre-Super League times, with the first such award given in 1977. It was renamed in honour of Steve Prescott in 2014.

Albert Goldthorpe MedalEdit

The Albert Goldthorpe Medal is an award voted for be members of the press who cast a vote after every game of the regular season. The three players who, in the opinion of the reporter, have been the three 'best and fairest' players in the game will receive three points, two points and one point respectively. To be eligible for a vote, a player must not have been suspended from the competition at any stage during the season.

Super League Dream TeamEdit

Each season a "Dream Team" is also named. The best thirteen players in their respective positions are voted for by members of the sports press. The 2020 dream team is as follows:

Player Team Appearance
1   Bevan French   Wigan Warriors 1
2   Krisnan Inu   Salford Red Devils 1
3   Toby King   Warrington Wolves 1
4   Konrad Hurrell   Leeds Rhinos 2
5   Ash Handley   Leeds Rhinos 2
6   Jonny Lomax   St. Helens 2
7   Aidan Sezer   Huddersfield Giants 1
8   Mike Cooper   Warrington Wolves 1
9   Paul McShane   Castleford Tigers 1
10   Alex Walmsley   St. Helens 2
11   Kelepi Tanginoa   Wakefield Trinity 1
12   Liam Farrell   Wigan Warriors 3
13   Morgan Knowles   St. Helens 2

CoachesEdit

Nat. Name Club Appointed Time as head coach
  Daryl Powell   Castleford Tigers 7 May 2013 8 years, 132 days
  Steve McNamara   Catalans Dragons 19 June 2017 4 years, 89 days
  Ian Watson   Huddersfield Giants 19 November 2020 301 days
  Brett Hodgson   Hull F.C. 25 November 2020 295 days
  Tony Smith   Hull Kingston Rovers 6 June 2019 2 years, 102 days
  Richard Agar   Leeds Rhinos 7 May 2019 2 years, 132 days
  Kurt Haggerty (interim)   Leigh Centurions 2 June 2021 106 days
  Richard Marshall   Salford Red Devils 1 December 2020 289 days
  Kristian Woolf   St. Helens 13 October 2019 1 year, 338 days
  Willie Poching (interim)   Wakefield Trinity 10 August 2021 37 days
  Steve Price   Warrington Wolves 6 October 2017 3 years, 345 days
  Adrian Lam   Wigan Warriors 14 October 2018 2 years, 337 days

Head coaches with Super League titlesEdit

The Super League has been won by 15 coaches, 10 from Australia, 4 from England and 1 from New Zealand.

Head Coach Wins Winning years
1   Brian McDermott 4 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
2   Brian Noble 3 2001, 2003, 2005
3   Shaun Wane 3 2013, 2016, 2018
4   Ian Millward 2 2000, 2002
5   Tony Smith 2 2004, 2007
6   Brian McClennan 2 2008, 2009
7   Shaun McRae 1 1996
8   Matthew Elliott 1 1997
9   John Monie 1 1998
10   Ellery Hanley 1 1999
11   Daniel Anderson 1 2006
12   Michael Maguire 1 2010
13   Nathan Brown 1 2014
14   Justin Holbrook 1 2019
15   Kristian Woolf 1 2020

Coaches to have coached at least 200 Super League gamesEdit

  • Bold indicates coach still at club
  • Italic indicates coach still active as a head coach in Rugby League but not in Super League at this time

Statistics correct as of 12 September 2021

Rank Player Club(s) Games
1   Tony Smith Huddersfield (2001, 2003)
Leeds (2004–2007),
Warrington (2009–2017)
Hull KR (2019–present)
482
2   Brian McDermott London (2007–2010)
Leeds (2011–2018)
Toronto (2020)
340
3   Brian Noble Bradford (2001–2006)
Wigan (2006–2009)
Crusaders (2010)
Salford (2013–2014)
321
4   Daryl Powell Leeds (2001–2003)
Castleford (2013–2021)
Warrington (2022-)
317
5   Shaun McRae St. Helens (1996–1998)
Gateshead (1999)
Hull (2000–2004)
Salford (2007, 2009–2011)
312
6   John Kear Sheffield (1997–1999),
Huddersfield (2000)
Hull (2005–2006)
Wakefield (2006–2011)
272
7   Ian Millward St. Helens (2000–2005)
Wigan (2005–2006)
Castleford (2012–2013)
228
8   Richard Agar Hull (2006, 2008–2011),
Wakefield (2012-2014),
Leeds (2019–present)
227
9   Steve McNamara Bradford (2006–2010),
Catalans (2017–present)
226
10   Shaun Wane Wigan (2012–2018) 208

PlayersEdit

  • Statistics are correct as of 12 September 2021.

Players to have made over 350 Super League AppearancesEdit

 
Kevin Sinfield holds the record for the most appearances in Super League. Sinfield made 454 appearances for Leeds Rhinos
  • Note that appearances from the bench are also included in this list. Excluding appearances in Qualifiers
  • Bold indicates players still active in Super League
  • Italics indicates players still active but not in Super League
Rank Player Years Club(s) Appearances
1   Kevin Sinfield 1997–2015 Leeds 454
2   Andy Lynch 1999–2017 Castleford, Bradford, Hull FC, Castleford 452
3   Paul Wellens 1998–2015 St. Helens 443
4   James Roby 2004–present St. Helens 439
5   Jamie Peacock 1998–2015 Bradford, Leeds 438
6=   Rob Burrow 2001–2017 Leeds 431
6=   Leon Pryce 1998–2016 Bradford, St. Helens, Hull FC, Catalans 431
8   Ben Westwood 1999–2019 Wakefield, Warrington 430
9   Danny Tickle 2000–2018 Halifax, Wigan, Hull FC, Widnes,
Castleford, Leigh, Hull KR
419
10   Keith Senior 1996– 2011 Sheffield, Leeds 413
11   Lee Gilmour 1997–2014 Wigan, Bradford, St. Helens, Huddersfield,
Castleford, Wakefield
412
12   Danny McGuire 2001–2019 Leeds, Hull KR 408
13   Sean O'Loughlin 2002–2020 Wigan 403
14   Lee Briers 1997–2013 St. Helens, Warrington 402
15   Jon Wilkin 2003–2018,
2020
St. Helens, Toronto 385
16   Paul Deacon 1997–2011 Oldham, Bradford, Wigan 384
17   Keiron Cunningham 1996–2010 St. Helens 382
18   Danny Orr 1997–2012 Castleford, Wigan, London, Castleford 381
19     Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 2006–present London, St. Helens 377
20   Jamie Jones-Buchanan 1999–2019 Leeds 366
21   Kevin Brown 2003–present Wigan, Huddersfield, Widnes,
Warrington, Salford
361
22   Jon Clarke 1997–2014 Wigan, London, Warrington, Widnes 360
23   Stuart Fielden 1998–2013 Bradford, Wigan, Huddersfield 359
24   Richard Horne 1999–2014 Hull 353
25   Mickey Higham 2001–2017 St. Helens, Wigan, Warrington, Leigh 352

Danny Houghton currently on 349 appearances

TriesEdit

 
Danny McGuire is the highest ever try scorer in Super League with 247
Rank Player Years Clubs Tries
1   Danny McGuire 2001–2019 Leeds, Hull KR 247
2   Ryan Hall 2007–2018
2021–present
Leeds, Hull KR 211
3=   Paul Wellens 1998–2015 St. Helens 199
3=   Keith Senior 1996–2011 Sheffield, Leeds 199
5   Josh Charnley 2010-2016,
2018–present
Hull KR, Wigan,
Warrington
195

PointsEdit

Rank Player Years Clubs Points
1   Kevin Sinfield 1997–2015 Leeds 3,443
2     Danny Brough 2005–2006,
2008–2020
Hull FC, Wakefield x2,
Huddersfield
2,462
3   Paul Deacon 1997–2011 Oldham, Bradford, Wigan 2,415
4   Andy Farrell 1996–2004 Wigan 2,372
5   Pat Richards 2006–2013, 2016 Wigan, Catalans 2,280

Winning captainsEdit

 
Sean O'Loughlin captained the Wigan Warriors to four Super League Grand Final victories, the second most in Super League history

11 players have captained teams to win the Super League.

Captain Wins Winning years
1   Kevin Sinfield 7 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015
2   Sean O'Loughlin 4 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018
3   Chris Joynt 3 1999, 2000, 2002
4   Robbie Paul 3 1997, 2001, 2003
5   James Roby 2 2019, 2020
6   Bobbie Goulding 1 1996
7   Andy Farrell 1 1998
8   Jamie Peacock 1 2005
9   Sean Long 1 2006
10   Paul Wellens 1 2014
11   Danny McGuire 1 2017

Top Try Scorer by seasonEdit

Year Player Tries Team
1996   Paul Newlove 28   St. Helens
1997   Nigel Vagana 17   Warrington Wolves
1998   Anthony Sullivan 20   St. Helens
1999   Toa Kohe-Love 25   Warrington Wolves
2000   Sean Long &   Tommy Martyn 22 both   St. Helens
2001   Kris Radlinski 27   Wigan Warriors
2002   Dennis Moran 22   London Broncos
2003   Dennis Moran 24   London Broncos
2004   Lesley Vainikolo 36   Bradford Bulls
2005   Mark Calderwood 27   Leeds Rhinos
2006   Justin Murphy 25   Catalans Dragons
2007   Henry Fa'afili 21   Warrington Wolves
2008   Ade Gardner 26   St. Helens
2009   Ryan Hall 29   Leeds Rhinos
2010   Pat Richards 29   Wigan Warriors
2011   Ryan Hall &   Sam Tomkins 28   Leeds Rhinos &   Wigan Warriors
2012   Josh Charnley 31   Wigan Warriors
2013   Josh Charnley 33   Wigan Warriors
2014   Joel Monaghan 28   Warrington Wolves
2015   Jermaine McGillvary 27   Huddersfield Giants
2016   Denny Solomona 40   Castleford Tigers
2017   Greg Eden 38   Castleford Tigers
2018   Ben Barba 28   St. Helens
2019   Tommy Makinson 23   St. Helens
2020   Ash Handley 14   Leeds Rhinos

Top Points Scorer by seasonEdit

Year Player Points Team
1996   Bobbie Goulding 257   St. Helens
1997   Andy Farrell 243   Wigan Warriors
1998   Iestyn Harris 333   Leeds Rhinos
1999   Iestyn Harris 325   Leeds Rhinos
2000   Sean Long 352   St. Helens
2001   Andy Farrell 388   Wigan Warriors
2002   Paul Deacon 301   Bradford Bulls
2003   Paul Deacon 286   Bradford Bulls
2004   Kevin Sinfield 277   Leeds Rhinos
2005   Paul Deacon 322   Bradford Bulls
2006   Jamie Lyon 316   St. Helens
2007   Pat Richards 248   Wigan Warriors
2008   Pat Richards 269   Wigan Warriors
2009   Pat Richards 252   Wigan Warriors
2010   Pat Richards 388   Wigan Warriors
2011   Jamie Foster 330   St. Helens
2012   Scott Dureau 281   Catalans Dragons
2013   Danny Brough 208   Huddersfield Giants
2014   Marc Sneyd 224   Castleford Tigers
2015   Luke Gale 247   Castleford Tigers
2016   Luke Gale 262   Castleford Tigers
2017   Luke Gale 317   Castleford Tigers
2018   Danny Richardson 296   St. Helens
2019   Lachlan Coote 259   St. Helens
2020   Lachlan Coote 174   St. Helens

Edit

 
logo used from 1996 to 2016

The Super League has had three official logos. The first was used from the inaugural season in 1996 until 2016. The logo had the Super League S with Super above it and League below it. The title sponsors name would appear above the logo until 2014 when title sponsors First Utility used their own personalised logos that appeared on player shirts and in the media. The reigning champions had a ribbon around the logo with champions on it until 2011.

 
Logo from 2017 to 2019

The second official logo was introduced in 2017 as part of a radical rebrand across British rugby league. The design was deliberately similar to new Rugby Football League (RFL) and England team logos, in order to maintain a ubiquity of public message. It had a rectangular backdrop representing the George Hotel in Huddersfield (where rugby league was originally founded), thirteen lines representing thirteen players, a chevron (a traditional design feature on many rugby league shirts) and the S which represented the ball and the Super League. The reigning champions had the right to wear a gold version of the logo on their shirts.

Ahead of the 2020 Super League season, a brand new logo was revealed. This was designed by the same company who had recently redesigned the Premier League logo and was more simplistic than previous iterations.

SponsorshipEdit

Super League has been sponsored since its formation, apart from the 2013 season.

The title sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. There have been seven title sponsors since the league's formation:

Period Sponsor Name
1996–1997 Stones Bitter Stones Super League
1998–1999 JJB Sports JJB Super League
2000–2004 Tetley's Bitter Tetley's Super League
2005–2011 Engage Mutual Assurance Engage Super League
2012 Stobart Group Stobart Super League
2013 no sponsor Super League
2014–2016 First Utility First Utility Super League
2017–2021 Betfred Betfred Super League

As well as title sponsorship, Super League has a number of official partners and suppliers.[39] For the 2017 season these include Kingstone Press Cider, Dacia, Foxy Bingo, Batchelors and Specsavers.

The official rugby ball supplier is Steeden.[40]

Competition rulesEdit

Overseas quota and Federation-trained playersEdit

An overseas quota restricting the maximum number of foreign players at each club has existed since the inception of the Super League in 1996.[41] However, overseas players that hold a European Union passport or come under the Kolpak ruling do not count towards the quota. This resulted in the number of non-British players at some clubs greatly exceeding the quota.

In response to concerns over the growing number of foreign players in the league, in 2007, the RFL announced plans to introduce a "homegrown player" rule to encourage clubs to develop their own players.[42] As of 2017, Super League clubs are permitted to register no more than five overseas players. Additionally, squads are also limited to a maximum of seven non-Federation trained players.[43]

Salary capEdit

A salary cap was first introduced to the Super League in 1998, with clubs being allowed to spend up to 50 percent of their income on player wages. From the 2002 season onwards, the cap became a fixed ceiling of £1.8 million in order to increase parity within the league.[44]

The Super League operates under a real-time salary cap system that will calculate a club's salary cap position at the start of and throughout the season:[45]

  • The combined earnings of the top 25 players must not exceed £1.825 million.
  • Clubs will only be allowed to sign a new player if they have room under the cap.
  • Clubs are allowed to spend a maximum of £50,000 on players outside the top 25 earners who have made at least one first grade appearance for the club during the year.
  • Costs for players outside of the top 25 earners who do not make a first team appearance will be unregulated.
  • Any player who has played for the same club for at least 10 consecutive seasons will have half their salary excluded from the salary cap for his 11th and subsequent seasons. This is subject to a maximum of £50,000 for any one club.
  • Clubs are allowed one "Marquee Player" who can exceed a club's salary cap as long as they can afford the players wages.

In 2017, Super League clubs approved proposals to increase the salary cap over the next three seasons, eventually rising to £2.1 million by 2020. Clubs will also be allowed to sign a second marquee player.[46]

Squad announcement systemEdit

Before each Super League fixture, each club must announce the squad of 19 players it will choose from by 2:00 pm on the second day before the match day.[45]

Match officialsEdit

All Super League matches are governed by the laws set out by the RFL; these laws are enforced by match officials. Former Super League and International Referee Steve Ganson is the current Head of Match Officials and Technical Director. Former Hull F.C. player and Huddersfield Head Coach Jon Sharp was the previous Head of Match Officials. Sharp was sacked in July 2015 and took up the role of Head Coach at Featherstone Rovers. He assumed his role at the RFL following Stuart Cummings' departure in March 2013 having previously held the role of Match Officials Coach & Technical Director.

CriticismEdit

Big Four dominanceEdit

Key
  • Number denotes league position

  Grand Final Champions   Grand Final Runners-up

Results of the 'Big Four' during 1996–2009
Season   Bradford Bulls   Leeds Rhinos   St. Helens   Wigan Warriors
1996 3 10 1 2
1997 1 5 3 4
1998 5 2 4 1
1999 1 3 2 4
2000 3 4 2 1
2001 1 5 4 2
2002 2 4 1 3
2003 1 2 4 3
2004 2 1 5 4
2005 3 2 1 7
2006 4 3 1 8
2007 3 2 1 6
2008 5 2 1 4
2009 9 1 2 6
Titles 4 4 5 1
Results of the 'Big Four' since 2010
Season   Leeds Rhinos   St. Helens   Wigan Warriors   Warrington Wolves
2010 4 2 1 3
2011 5 3 2 1
2012 5 3 1 2
2013 3 5 4 2
2014 6 1 2 5
2015 1 2 3 6
2016 9 4 3 2
2017 2 4 6 9
2018 10 1 2 4
2019 8 1 2 4
2020 5 2 1 3
Titles 4 3 4 0

Since its formation in 1996 only four teams have won the Super League (Bradford Bulls, Leeds Rhinos, St. Helens and Wigan Warriors). Also, only eight teams have taken part in the Grand Final (Hull FC, Castleford, Warrington Wolves, and Salford Red Devils, being the other four). Eight teams have been the league leaders, however only one of these (Huddersfield Giants in 2013, Catalans Dragons won it in 2021 but can still reach the Grand Final at this moment) is a different team to those that have appeared in the grand final, meaning that only nine different teams in total have been involved in the grand final or topped the regular season table, however, 23 teams have taken part in Super League since its inception. The last grand final to feature two sides other than Wigan, Leeds, St Helens or Bradford occurred in 1991 when Hull F.C. defeated Widnes 14–4.[47] This had led to the criticism that Super League is effectively uncompetitive, by perpetuating success in the hands of a small number of wealthy clubs.

In comparison, during the same period, 12 different teams have won the Australasian National Rugby League competition and 15 different teams have appeared in the Grand Final.

LicensingEdit

Between 2009 and 2014 teams had to apply for a licence to play in Super League, which was partly awarded based on a club's financial viability; this also meant there was no longer automatic promotion from the Championship into Super League. This was highly unpopular with Championship clubs, because there was no way for them to win promotion to the higher level based purely on sporting success. Consequently, the Super League came to be seen as a closed shop for its existing members, with entry based primarily on financial capability.

Attendances in the lower divisions dropped as a result of this system, because it was felt that there was little appeal in these leagues when there was no incentive for the clubs to win the Championship. Additionally, the only time that lower division clubs got the chance to play illustrious Super League opposition was in the early rounds of the Challenge Cup. With no simple route in to the Super League, teams were further unable to compete with top division opposition because there was no way those clubs could attract good quality talent when they could not offer young players the prospect of playing at the highest level.

M62 CorridorEdit

Most of the teams that have competed in Super League have been in the traditional English rugby league heartlands of the so-called 'M62 Corridor' between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Catalans Dragons are the only team currently playing in Super League who play outside this area. Since their arrival in 2006, The Dragons have enjoyed a sustainable and competitive period in Super League which has seen them become the first non-English team to win the Challenge Cup in 2018, and the League Leaders Shield in 2021.

Expansion of the sport was a key policy of the Rugby Football League when Super League was created, and has consistently been considered important for the future well-being of rugby league. However, with the exception of the above-mentioned team and the comparative long-term stability of the London Broncos, expansion clubs have not generally proved viable at the highest level. Paris Saint-Germain RL competed from the beginning of the competition but disbanded after just two seasons due to a lack of interest and investment, Gateshead Thunder had poor attendance figures and were merged with Hull after only one year in 1999, whilst Toronto Wolfpack lasted less than a full season in Super League, their financial problems exacerbated by international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Media coverageEdit

TelevisionEdit

Sky Sports have been the primary broadcast partner of Super League since its inaugural season in 1996. The current deal lasts until 2021 and covers 80 matches per season, rising to 100 from 2015. They currently have the rights to show live Super League games in both Ireland and the United Kingdom; two live matches are broadcast each week – one on Thursday nights at 7:30 pm (kick off 8 pm) and another at 7:30 pm on Friday nights (kick off 8 pm). From 2014, they also simulcast all of Catalans Dragons' home games.

Duration Broadcaster
1996–2021 Sky Sports

Detailed Sky coverage

  • Super League Thursday starts at 7:30 pm and consists of a preview of the weekends Super League fixtures before the first game of the weekend.
  • Super League Friday includes one game with coverage starting at 7:30 pm building up to the game.
  • Super League Saturday usually shows Catalans Dragons games kicking off at 5:00 pm with coverage starting from 4:55 pm. When the Super 8s begin other teams are shown with coverage starting at 2:30 pm for games kicking off at 5:00 pm.

HighlightsEdit

In addition to Sky Sports' live coverage, BBC Sport broadcast a weekly highlights programme called the Super League Show, usually presented by Tanya Arnold. This is broadcast to the North West, Yorkshire & North Midlands, North East & Cumbria, and East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire regions on BBC 1 on Monday nights (after 11 pm) and is repeated nationally on BBC 2 on Tuesday afternoons.[48] A national repeat was first broadcast overnight during the week since February 2008 when the then BBC Director of Sport, Roger Mosey, commented that this move was in response to the growing popularity and awareness of the sport, and the large number of requests from people who want to watch it elsewhere in the UK. The end of season play-off series is shown nationwide in a highlights package. The Super League Show is also available for streaming or download using the BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Highlights programme Duration Broadcaster
Super League Show 1999–Present BBC

InternationalEdit

Internationally, Super League is shown live by eight broadcasters in eight countries and regions.

Country/ Region Broadcaster
Middle East OSN (no longer available)
North Africa
  France beIN Sports[49]
Sport en France[50]
  New Zealand Sky Sport
Māori Television
  United States Fox Soccer Plus
  Canada Sportsnet World
  Brazil BandSports (no longer available)
  Russia NTV+ (no longer available)
Balkans Sportklub (no longer available)
  Australia Fox League

RadioEdit

Talksport is an official broadcaster of Super League, broadcasting commentaries and magazine programming on Talksport 2. BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra covers more than 70 Super League games through 5 Live Rugby League each Thursday and Friday night.[51] Each 3 hour programme is presented by Dave Woods with a guest summariser (usually a Super League player or coach) and in addition to live commentary also includes interviews and debate. A 5 Live Rugby League podcast is available to download each week from the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrtxd/episodes/downloads.

Super League is also covered extensively by BBC Local Radio:

Station Area
BBC Radio Humberside Hull
BBC Radio Leeds West Yorkshire
BBC Radio Manchester Salford, Wigan and Warrington.
BBC Radio Merseyside St Helens, Warrington and Widnes.

The competition is also covered on commercial radio stations:

  • Radio Yorkshire cover two matches per round featuring Yorkshire clubs.
  • BCB 106.6 (Bradford Community Broadcasting) have full match commentary on Bradford home and away.
  • Wish FM have full match commentary on Wigan and St Helens matches home and away.
  • Wire FM have full match commentary of Warrington matches home and away.
  • Grand Sud FM covers every Catalans Dragons Home Match (in French).
  • Radio France Bleu Roussillon covers every Catalans Dragons Away Match (in French).

All Super League commentaries on any station are available via the particular stations on-line streaming.

InternetEdit

ESPN3, formerly ESPN360, has had worldwide broadband rights since 2007 when they broadcast the 2007 Grand Final.

Since 9 April 2009, all of the matches shown on Sky Sports have also been available live online via Livestation everywhere in the world excluding the US, Puerto Rico, UK, Ireland, France, Monaco, Australia and New Zealand.[52] In 2016 Livestation shut down, however these matches are also available online for UK users only through Sky Go and Now TV.

In the United Kingdom, a number of commercial radio stations, along with BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the local BBC radio stations simulcast commentary of Super League games on the internet. Additionally, the 5 Live Rugby League podcast is available to download each week from the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrtxd/episodes/downloads.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Active as North Wales Crusaders
  2. ^ a b Championship by definition were league leaders for 1996 and 1997.

ReferencesEdit

InlineEdit

  1. ^ "Rugby League's Super League Europe Appoints New Director" (Press release). Leeds: Super League Europe. Sportcal. 16 February 2001. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  2. ^ "'Why do they call it Super League Europe'? French club coach fuming after promotion snub". stuff.co.nz. Stuff Limited. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  3. ^ Hansard (26 April 1995). "Rugby League". UK Parliament. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  4. ^ Mike Parsons (23 June 2006). "Rugby League". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b BBC Sport (19 May 2005). "Super League set for 2009 changes". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  6. ^ a b RFL. "Licensing". The Rugby Football League. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  7. ^ BBC Sport (22 May 2005). "Franchise system 'is way forward'". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  8. ^ Angela Powers. "Licence to thrill". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  9. ^ Gary Slater (18 June 2008). "Super League to expand to 14". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  10. ^ Sky Sports (17 June 2008). "Super League set to expand". Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  11. ^ BBC Sport (16 July 2008). "Clubs confident over franchises". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  12. ^ Ian Laybourn. "Leigh blast for Super League". Sporting Life. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  13. ^ BBC Sport (8 October 2010). "Five clubs in Super League queue". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  14. ^ BBC Sport (3 December 2010). "Widnes, Halifax and Barrow meet Super League deadline". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Vikings awarded Super League licence". Super League Official. 31 March 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Thirteen Super League licences awarded for 2012 to 2014". RFL. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  17. ^ a b c BBC Sport (26 July 2011). "Crusaders withdraw application for Super League place". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  18. ^ Super League to become a 12-team competition from 2015. Superleague.co.uk (11 July 2013). Retrieved on 20 August 2013.
  19. ^ "RFL Chief Executive Policy Review" (PDF). RFL. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Super League: Competition restructures confirmed". BBC Sport. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  21. ^ Westmorland, Gareth (14 September 2018). "Explained: How Super League's 2019 structure works". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  22. ^ Shaw, Matthew (21 December 2018). "RFL usher in rule changes for 2019". Total Rugby League. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Calls grow for Super League to return to the fold". Rugby Leaguer & League Express (3,224). 4 May 2020. p. 3.
  24. ^ "Leigh Centurions will replace Toronto Wolfpack and play in Super League in 2021". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  25. ^ https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/56915807.amp
  26. ^ BBC Sport (19 November 2018). "Super League: Golden-point extra time introduced for regular season from 2019". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  27. ^ Darbyshire, Drew (26 November 2020). "Super League retains six-team play-off format for 2021, Old Trafford to host Grand Final". Love Rugby League. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  28. ^ Wilson, Andy (9 February 2013). "Debate continues over Super League and Championship dual registration". Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  29. ^ "Match Centre - Rugby-League.com". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  30. ^ Club folded at end of season.
  31. ^ Super League expanded from 12 teams to 14.
  32. ^ Hunslet Hawks denied promotion due to not meeting stadium criteria, bottom club Huddersfield Giants reprieved.
  33. ^ Dewsbury Rams denied promotion due to not meeting stadium criteria, bottom club Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants reprieved.
  34. ^ Catalans Dragons finished bottom, but were exempt from relegation, so 11th placed Castleford were relegated.
  35. ^ Crusaders withdrew application for Super League licence for 2012–2014 at the end of 2011 and were readmited into League 1.
  36. ^ Two teams relegated due to the 2015 season reverting from the 14 team to 12 team format, no teams promoted.
  37. ^ Wakefield defeated Bradford in the Million Pound game to retain Super League place.
  38. ^ Toronto Wolfpack dropped out of Super League for the remainder of the 2020 season due to complications arising from COVID-19 pandemic, and were expelled from Super League on 2nd November 2020.
  39. ^ "Super League Partners". 9 August 2013. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  40. ^ "Steeden become Official Match Ball Partner". www.rugby-league.com. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  41. ^ Hadfield, Dave (24 January 1996). "Tries to be given trial by television". The Independent. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  42. ^ Hadfield, Dave (5 February 2007). "Overseas quotas on clubs' agenda". The Independent. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  43. ^ "Operational Rules". The Rugby Football League. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  44. ^ Fisher, Michael (12 January 2001). "Salary cap to be squeezed to £1.8m". Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  45. ^ a b "Competition Structure". The RFL. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  46. ^ Bower, Aaron (5 April 2017). "Super League clubs vote for salary cap rise and second marquee player". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  47. ^ "1991 Premiership Final: 28 Year Ago Today". www.hullfc.com.
  48. ^ "BBC Super League Show: New series starts on 10 February". 7 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  49. ^ "Les Dragons Catalans et la Super League de retour sur beIN SPORTS". sport-tv.org. Franck Loisel. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  50. ^ Jacquemart, Nicolas (2 April 2021). "Les Dragons Catalans et l'Elite 1 diffusés sur Sport en France". treizemondial.fr. Dicodusport. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  51. ^ "Super League: BBC Radio 5 live sports extra to air new show". 4 February 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  52. ^ List of Super League games available on Livestation.com

GeneralEdit

  • Caplan, Phil; Doidge, Jonathan R. (2006). Super League – the first ten years. The History Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7524-3698-2.

External linksEdit