Decision made on radical restructuring

By the end of November the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and the rest of Super League will know who they will play in the opening round of the 2024 Super League season.

But whilst they have a level of certainty as we enter the penultimate month of the year, others clubs don’t quite have that level of security.

Those clubs are those in the Championship and League One. These two competitions were cast in doubt on the eve of the Super League Grand Final when Newcastle Thunder said they would be withdrawing from League One after relegation from the Championship owing to financial issues.

This only exacerbated the loss of London Skolars who had already withdrawn from League One. This left League One clubs fearing a competition with only a handful of teams and a low appeal prompting them to call for a restructure.

Clubs like Keighley Cougars called for the Championship and League One to be merged together before being split into East and West Conferences.

Meetings have been held to consider this proposal as well as others to make a change to the structure. However, there is set to be a twist in this tale with Newcastle having a chance at still participating in 2024.

Serious About Rugby League understands that a decision is likely to be made in the next seven days. There should be more clarity on the 2024 structure by end of this week or at the latest early next week

In terms of what to expect, it is likely the existing 14 team Championship will remain and hopefully we will see a 9-team League One if Newcastle maintain encouraging progress.

There is also set to be help for League One clubs with regards to playing more high profile games against appealing opposition with League One clubs set to participate in a new look 1895 Cup which would then be an opportunity to secure additional home games for League One clubs.

So, things are looking up for League One clubs with more clarity emerging moving forward into the new rugby league season in 2024 but there are still questions to answer.