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Rugby league agent predicts 14-team Super League in IMG shake-up

It’s a point in question that has dominated the rugby league world in recent weeks and months, what will the sport look like in 2023?

Well, with the input of IMG and the subsequent takeover, there have been a number of different options that are seemingly on the table.

With a meeting this week, all clubs throughout the Super League, Championship and League 1 have been informed what IMG are suggesting.

Then there is a big meeting on September 28th where it will be decision time.

Leading rugby league agent, Craig Harrison of Show Me The Money UK, believes that a number of Championship clubs are waiting to see what structure is proposed for 2023 before making their transfer market moves.

“What we are finding in the Championship is there are a few clubs that have put things on ice,” Harrison said on The Full Eighty Minutes podcast.

“Some have started early with retentions but a lot are saying they won’t be doing anything until they know.

“They will have to tailor their recruitment accordingly (to IMG’s plans). Whatever is announced they might have to change their tactics quite quickly.

“As you are out of contract, the player want their futures secure. It’s tough to say but hold on until the end of September. The news will make transfers happen like that.”

With regards to the new structure, however, Harrison has an inkling of what it will be.

“What I have heard from yesterday, I have heard 14 teams. I heard they tried to keep Toulouse and bring one up but that didn’t go down well, but there will be two up next year if it is true which means the Championship will be all to play for next year.

“I think they will also say if there is going to be two leagues the year after, you will have to finish in the top eight to apply for a license.

“If they do licensing they shouldn’t do promotion and relegation because it is about development. Let the clubs grow in every area such as the youth academy.

“Let’s say there is no relegation, straight away those in the Super League won’t be panicking because the year after they could be ringfenced.

“Next year they will play to win the Challenge Cup and the Grand Final and to start that franchise now.

“If you aren’t going to get relegated, teams will start putting youth development in every area. Coaches will try to play a different brand.

“It’s the Championship where the pressure will come as they are trying to get the golden egg. Two will go up and it’s going to go off.

“If we have 14 in Super League and 12 in the Championship that would mean we would have 26 the year after.”

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