Five things that will definitely happen in Super League in 2021

The 2021 Super League is just around the corner, but what can we definitely expect from the top flight this season?

Confusion with rules

Super League brought in a number of changes during the 2020 season, including the six again rule, the scrapping of scrums and play-the-ball restart for kick out on the full and mutual infringements. That led to some bizarre momentum shifts last year and it’s almost certain that new regulations will be dripped in throughout 2021, especially with the inclusion of rules such as the 20/40 kick and two-point drop-goal past 40 metres. Let’s face it, it is rugby league.

Best-ever crowd atmospheres

There’s nothing like the removal of something to prove how much you loved it. That will be the case for fans and the enjoyment of live rugby. When spectators are allowed to return, there is no doubt that the atmospheres will be akin to those around the turn of the millennium, when grounds were turned more into carnival settings with outside entertainment and activities. Clubs will want to make up for the loss of revenue in as many ways as possible, so watch out for more incentives than ever to attend.

Better standard of rugby

For the past few seasons, the standard on the field has regressed somewhat with less quality if no less entertainment. However, it appears as though all Super League sides are heading into the new season with stronger squads than they had in 2020. The likes of former NRL stars Greg Inglis, Joel Thompson, Sione Mata’utia, Jack Cogger, Dean Whare, Jai Field, John Bateman, Mason Lino, Albert Vete and Brad Takairangi have all joined English clubs, increasing the exciting talent from overseas which will undoubtedly raise the quality.

Surprising silverware contenders

St Helens and Wigan are almost certainly going to be up there at the end of the season, with Warrington and Leeds not likely to be far behind. But, two sides that have been making all the right noises in pre-season are Huddersfield and Hull FC. The capture of Ian Watson and Brett Hodgson respectively seems to have sparked both clubs into life and signings such as Luke Yates, Ricky Leutele and Josh Jones for the Giants and Josh Reynolds for FC have produced a great deal of enthusiasm from both sets of supporters. If not Super League, then Hull and Huddersfield are likely to have big runs in the Challenge Cup.

New hairstyles

The lockdown fuzz has transcended from the community right down to the players and officials with the likes of Scott Taylor and referee Robert Hicks sporting wild manes, both on top of their heads and under their chins. Come the time when hairdressers and barber shops reopen, there will be an influx of fades, skinheads and dreadlocks as rugby league players don their new looks after months of making do with friendly cuts from their nearest and dearest. Guaranteed to be some shockers.

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