Predictions are coming in aplenty for the new Super League season in 2022, with new head coaches, new signings and a new team in the top flight.
Toulouse Olympique reached Super League for the first time in their history whilst Daryl Powell, Lee Radford, Paul Rowley and Matty Peet have all taken the reins in a different coaching role to that of 2021.
With that being said, just what five bold predictions can we make ahead of the new campaign?
1. Relegation will be a tough dogfight
It’s perhaps a statement that very few others have made, but Toulouse have been building for the big time for a number of years, meaning they should be more than ready for the big time. Add into that, clubs that struggled in 2021 such as Salford and Wakefield and it could be squeaky bum time for a number of entrenched top flight sides. With that, relegation will be just one of many areas to look out for in 2022.
2. Wigan will win a trophy
Wigan look a seriously rejuvenated side under new head coach Matty Peet following the departure of Adrian Lam. Alongside Peet are Sean O’Loughlin and Lee Briers as his assistants and Shaun Wane in a leadership role. Wane’s influence will be felt throughout the club and, with new signings such as Cade Cust and Patrick Mago ready to rip up Super League, the Warriors look like dark horses to get their name on a trophy in 2022.
3. Daryl Clark will win Man of Steel
He has been one of Warrington’s best players in recent seasons, but won the Man of Steel under Daryl Powell at Castleford Tigers way back in 2014. Well, look who is now at the Halliwell Jones alongside Clark. Powell left the Jungle at the end of 2021 to take up a new venture at the Wolves and it will likely bring out the best in a rejuvenated Clark who will also have one eye on the World Cup at the end of the year.
4. Catalans will finish top again
The Dragons finished top in 2021 after a superb season, including a last-minute victory over St Helens at the Magic Weekend. Catalans also reached their maiden Grand Final, but succumbed to a nailbiting 12-10 loss against Saints. However, they arguably look stronger on paper in 2022 than they did in the last campaign. Tyrone May, Dylan Napa and Mitchell Pearce have all joined the French side and, although James Maloney has departed, the Dragons will be very hard to stop.
5. No Super League coach will get sacked
Three Super League coaches were sacked in 2021 – John Duffy at Leigh, Chris Chester at Wakefield and Richard Marshall at Salford – and despite the fact that another two – Daryl Powell at Castleford and Steve Price at Warrington – left, there wasn’t much upheaval around in the top flight. There will be even less in 2022 with top flight sides all looking to find the stability necessary to stay in Super League or reach the major finals.