Leeds Rhinos officially British rugby league’s biggest under-performers

Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR, Hull FC, St Helens and Catalans Dragons have all been awarded Grade As by IMG.

Hull FC rank seventh with just over 15 points just behind rivals Hull KR who have 15.52 points.

Warrington rank fifth behind Catalans Dragons in fourth and unsurprisingly the three biggest UK clubs rank first, second and third in the rankings.

St Helens finished third with just over 16 points whilst Wigan are second with slightly more than the Saints.

With a score of 17.49, Leeds Rhinos lead the way. This is perhaps due to the stadium, fan base, social media following and finances at the club which has been underlined by the fact they just spend £300,000 for Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers in a double signing for the Rhinos.

However, the IMG rankings do great a problem for the Rhinos. It highlights them as the biggest underperformers in Super League but the rest of the rugby league pyramid with the Rhinos finishing seven places below their ranking with the Rhinos finishing eighth in Super League despite being ranked number one in the IMG rankings.

Ironically, the Rhinos’ missing points are likely mostly attributed to on field performance.

Unfortunately for the Rhinos, with the points awarded only on the last three seasons including 2023 it means the Rhinos’ 2020 Challenge Cup win is not considered.

The Rhinos can only ranked on their fifth place finishes in both 2021 and 2022 and their eighth place finish in 2023.

Their eighth place finish is their joint third lowest finish in Super League after 10th in 1996 and 2018 and ninth in 2016.

They also finished eighth in 2019. The Rhinos will want to make their league standing reflect their IMG grading in 2024 and beyond and have made the signings to do just that such as Croft and Ackers as well as former NRL winner Paul Momirovski from Sydney Roosters and electric fullback and former Olympian Lachie Miller.

The Rhinos have also signed former Huddersfield Giants halfback Matt Frawley and Catalans Dragons forward Mickael Goudemand as they assemble a squad capable of competing in the 2024 Super League season after missing out on the top four every year since 2017.