It’s been 17 years since a new team claimed the Super League title. In the 16 seasons that have followed 15 of the Grand Finals have been won by the same three teams. It’s time for a change and right now the door to Old Trafford appears to be wide open.
Yes, we shouldn’t discount St Helens but they’re the only one of the three usual suspects in good shape at the moment meaning a new winner is more than likely. Moreover, as we look ahead to 2022, it looks like there could be some major changes at St Helens too potentially making the Totally Wicked Stadium a less likely destination for Super League glory.
So, this season and next is a major opportunity for new teams to come in and grab the trophy. With that in mind here are the five most likely teams to become Super League’s first new Champions since 2004.
5. Castleford Tigers
Castleford have played in the Grand Final before. In fact, they went into it as favourites back in 2017 after finishing top. However, glory alluded them that night and they’ve drifted away from the top rather than cementing themselves as serious challengers. That said, they’re still a quality outfit with plenty of star players. If they can win at Wembley next week that might spark the winning mentality all champions need whilst the fresh ideas Lee Radford will bring could make the Tigers a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
4. Hull KR
There’s no doubt that Hull KR are a club on the up at the moment. The Robins play attractive rugby which makes them difficult to beat and has turned them into genuine play-off contenders in 2021. They have some exciting young talent and a potent left-edge. They’re also rumoured to bring in Lachlan Coote from St Helens. One of Super League’s best fullbacks at the minute, Coote could fire them to the top of the table.
3. Hull FC
Like their biggest rivals, Hull FC also feel like a side on the up. Brett Hodgson has revitalised them and brought the best out of stars like Jake Connor and Marc Sneyd. With Josh Reynolds also at the club now creating a spectacular spine, there’s no reason why the Black and Whites can’t continue to climb the table.
2. Catalans Dragons
The Dragons have been outstanding this year. They have the look of champions. They’re ruthless, creative and have superb experience in their ranks. Their pack can match anyone’s in the league, their spine is world class and they have some exciting backs. Who’d bet against them finishing top and getting to Old Trafford this year? Not me.
1. Warrington Wolves
It’s always their year, but soon it may actually be. In Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin they have an in-form halfback combination whilst Toby King is the finest centre in the league. Their pack has quality, size and a little bit of x-factor. They’re contenders right now and even though they face some chopping and changing in 2022, the arrival of George Williams could carry the Wolves to Super League glory.