It’s Christmas time which also means the preparations for the new season are about to kick into overdrive ahead of the new season with friendlies kick starting on Boxing Day.
So, here’s our early prediction for how the Super League table will look come the end of the 2023 season.
1. St Helens
The Champions are rightly the out right favourites to lift a fifth consecutive Super League title in 2023. They will have the likes of Lewis Dodd and Alex Walmsley back in the side and could be unstoppable. 2023 could be the Champions at their absolute peak.
2. Wigan Warriors
It’s easy to underestimate Wigan going into 2o23, but in many ways they’re the biggest threat to St Helens in 2023 largely because they have Bevan French and Jai Field who are capable of winning any game. The arrivals of Jake Wardle and Toby King only adds to their attack. They will have learnt a lot from 2022 too.
3. Huddersfield Giants
Though Huddersfield may not break into the top two this year, expect them to close the gap on Wigan and Saints somewhat after their brilliant business which should neutralise the few weaknesses they had. No side had attacking possession more than the Giants in 2022 but they didn’t always take it. Add Jake Connor and co to that side and this could change.
4. Leeds Rhinos
Rohan Smith had a massive impact at Headingley and now that he has had a pre-season under his belt, expect him to develop Leeds even more in 2023. They should have a ruthless attack and have a deeper squad in most areas following their transfer business. Perhaps the worry is injuries to the halfbacks.
5. Salford Red Devils
The worry for Super League this year is that Salford have only strengthened after their success last year and have kept all their key players. They will be right in the mix at the top of the table in 2023.
6. Hull FC
The Black and Whites have the brilliant Tony Smith in charge next year and have also added an exciting new spine in Jake Clifford, Tex Hoy and Jake Trueman. Add to that the explosivity of Brad Dwyer, the strike power of Liam Sutcliffe all behind a strong pack and Hull should have a very profitable season.
7. Castleford Tigers
The Tigers have only just missed out on the play-offs in 2021 and 2022 and it could be a similar story in 2023. They still have a very strong squad and have signed well but it may not be enough to see them move into the top half.
8. Catalans Dragons
The Dragons have undergone plenty of change this off-season and that leaves them in a state of transition going into 2023. They still haven’t finished their recruitment which could make things tough.
9. Warrington Wolves
Warrington’s 2023 season is already an enigma. It largely depends on how their new signings settle in, all of whom are quality but with so many new names all coming in at once it could be difficult to find the right rhythm.
10. Hull KR
If Warrington’s season depends on how their new signings settle in, then Hull KR’s depends on how their key men return from injury. If Jordan Abdull and Mikey Lewis return with the quality they clearly have straight away it could be a great year for the Robins.
11. Leigh Leopards
Similar to Warrington, Leigh have a lot of new signings which will need time to bed. In they have the quality to push for play-off rugby, as do every team in Super League this year. But that transition may see them slip down the table. Expect big things in 2024 and beyond however.
12. Wakefield Trinity
I am very reluctant to place Wakefield at the bottom. They’ve made some smart signings and have two top coaches in Mark Applegarth and James Ford. They could even have a play-off push in them which would make me look very foolish indeed. But this could be the most competitive Super League yet and it could see Trinity become the unfortunate victims of this.