When it comes to predicting the top four of Super League, often it is the same names that crop up again and again.
For 2023, the likes of St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils and even Warrington Wolves despite an 11th placed finish last year have also been suggested as being in the mix.
But often teams can surprise everyone and force their way into the all important top four which secures a home play-off game. Thus, here are some surprise contenders there could be for the top four in 2023.
The Leigh Leopards, previously the Leigh Centurions, have never avoided relegation in Super League. The Leopards though in 2023 have real star power in players the likes of Zak Hardaker and Ricky Leutele as well as an impressive core in the shape of Edwin Ipape and Lachlan Lam. They could very well make a real push for the top four.
Wakefield have never finished higher than fifth. They secured this best position in 2009, 2017 and 2018 and in 2023 have been somewhat written off and many expect them to suffer relegation. However, they have made some smart signings and in Mark Applegarth appears to be a hidden gem of a coach. Their Boxing Day win over Leeds Rhinos was certainly encouraging.
The Tigers have not finished inside the top four since 2018. That was only the third time they finished within the top four after finishing fourth in 2014 and top in 2017. They also haven’t made the play-offs since 2019 but have been very close and have a strong squad again in 2023 with stars like Gareth Widdop adding definite quality. They could take the Tigers back to the top four in 2023.