IMG are set to re-imagine rugby league with the use of licencing which will see Grade A clubs immune from relegation.
Speaking at a fan event last night, Hull KR CEO Paul Lakin said that he only expects there to be four Grade A licences handed out at first.
But where will those licences go? Here’s our predictions:
The reigning Super League Champions, the Saints have won the last four Grand Finals and plenty of other silverware too. They have never missed out on the play-offs and have perhaps the best academy in Super League. Their stadium is new and they were one of the best attended side’s in Super League last year. They’re nailed on for a Grade A.
St Helens’ Grand Final opponents, Leeds may have had some struggles in recent years but they have only missed out on the play-offs three times. They have won eight Super League titles and have a re-developed ground. They’re still the best attended team in Super League and the only side to have 10,000 or more at every home game in 2022. They won the academy Grand Final in 2022 and have women’s, PDRL and wheelchair teams all of whom are hugely successful.
Wigan are also well attended and won the Challenge Cup in 2022. They are the sport’s most successful side and have brilliant off field facilities. Some may question whether their stadium, a football ground, would be a wrinkle in their licencing but they are still one of the best and biggest clubs around and alongside Leeds and St Helens have a top tier academy.
Though Warrington have never won a Grand Final, no side has contested more than them without winning. They have won plenty of silverware in the summer era and are well financed. They have a modern ground that they don’t share and a strong academy. They attract strong crowds and have plenty of money. Hull FC could make an argument that they could also be in the mix and they could very well take the tally of Grade A clubs to 5.