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Castleford Tigers given IMG ultimatum by Super League rivals

When the first IMG gradings were revealed, it left two Super League clubs at odds against each other to make the top 12.

These were the Leigh Leopards and Castleford Tigers who were two of the three clubs positioned beneath Championship clubs in the rankings. The two Championship clubs who squeezed above them were Wakefield Trinity and Toulouse Olympique.

The third Super League club left out of the top 12 were the London Broncos who in the eyes of many has no chance of making of the top 12 when the gradings come into effect at the end of 2024 with the club positioned 24th with the worst Grade B score of the 17 clubs with Grade B scores.

They will strive to change that but it will be tough. If Toulouse and Wakefield are able to secure their Super League standings for next year it would leave Castleford and Leigh in a straight shootout for the final Super League spot which has been emphasised by the fact Castleford have appealed the illustrative grading which could see them leap ahead of Leigh in the 2023 rankings.

So, it seems simple, it will be a battle between the two for 12th spot except maybe not. This is because Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has bullishly claimed that the Leopards will be the eighth Grade A club due to the financial power they will have.

This is a massive worry for the Tigers and perhaps explains why the club are set for investment of their own moving forward. But it has left the ball firmly in Castleford’s court ahead of next year’s first official grades which will indeed determine Super League places for the 2025 season.

The Tigers have been busy trying to redevelop the Jungle a move that Wakefield have been successful with at Belle Vue which is set to give them a Super League calibre score at the end of this year.

The Tigers have also secured over 15 partners for next year showing that they are working towards a bright future but they certainly face a ticking clock with Leigh set to claim a Grade A ranking in 2024.

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