Recently we saw IMG and RL Commercial publish the first ever Grades with seven clubs taking home Grade A status in the shape of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Catalans Dragons, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Hull FC.
With a Grade A status, they are guaranteed a place in Super League for as long as they hold that status. The rest of the Super League spots will go to the highest ranking Grade B clubs.
Thus, to ensure Super League standing in 2025 clubs need to finish in the top 12 of IMG’s rankings at the end of 2024 and these first grades gave us a look at how that might impact certain teams.
For example, Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants look safe in Super League as the two highest Grade B clubs whilst Championship clubs Toulouse Olympique and Halifax Panthers both rank 10th and 11th with Leigh Leopards completing the top 12.
This of course meant that two Super League clubs missed out on the all important top 12 positions in the shape of 24th placed London Broncos and 13th placed Castleford Tigers.
However, before the gradings were public, the Tigers released a statement bemoaning the RFL and the grading system. This is because errors had been made which reduced their score.
Firstly, the Tigers made an error in their finances and when this was corrected their score was reduced but they claim that there was an error as well from the RFL. They believe that if this is remedied then they will receive at least another half point which will see them leapfrog Leigh into the Super League standings and will see the Leopards on the edge of relegation as we head into 2024.
This was not taken into account when the rankings were published and the appeal was set in motion straight after. It was initially stated that it would take days rather than weeks to come to a decision on this matter but it has now been two weeks since the appeal process began.
Serious About Rugby League can reveal that the RFL hopes to have a verdict for the Tigers by the end of this week with a decision likely to come in the back half of this week.
What this verdict will be remains to be seen but the Tigers were certainly confident of seeing their score improved to the point at which they are back in the top 12.