In 2023, it seems that the duopoly at the top of Super League could become a three-way tussle for the League Leaders’ Shield.
In the eyes of many, Ian Watson’s star-studded Huddersfield Giants side should be in the mix with St Helens and Wigan Warriors at the top in 2023.
This would leave one spot open in the top four which yields a guaranteed home play-off spot which is vitally important to a side’s hopes of Grand Final glory.
By our reckoning, there could be as many as seven teams who could claim to have a good shot at finishing fourth.
So here is a break down of every side’s chances.
Salford Red Devils
Many people’s pick to make the top four, the Red Devils finished last year brilliantly and have kept their key players for 2023 as well. They should kick on next year and could finish in the top four for only the second time.
In a similar position to Salford after last year. 2023 would be the perfect time to finally leave fifth spot behind, where they have finished in the last three seasons, and make the return to the top four. They have the building blocks in place but have changed a lot and have lost a chunk of experience.
A member of the last three top fours, Catalans are in a transition which could make their chances of the top four difficult. They have yet to finish recruiting for the new season as well. Their home form could help them out however.
A year into Lee Radford’s reign, when Castleford were on form in 2022 they were very good. They weren’t far off making the play-offs and keeping their star players fit could guide them to the top four.
Hull FC’s success depends on their exciting new spine and the impact of new coach Tony Smith. If these pay off, then Hull FC could very well take fourth spot.
After a blip in 2022, Hull KR could build on 2021 especially with the young talent they have now complimented by the arrival of some big name NRL stars. A lot depends on the impact of new coach Willie Peters.
From 2018-21, Warrington Wolves always finished in the top four. In fact, since 2010, they have only failed to finish in the top four three times. Daryl Powell has his new pack assembled and it will be this that determines whether they make the top four.