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What IMG’s proposal means for Catalans Dragons, Toulouse Olympique and clubs outside UK

IMG made their recommendations to rugby league clubs in Super League, Championship and League 1.

The headline was the change to relegation and promotion with a return of licensing for the first time since 2014 after five successful years since 2009.

Since then, relegation of different forms has taken centre stage in Super League but is no longer as IMG suggest wide changes.

The next step in this saga will take place at a follow up meeting in October with a decision expected “later in autumn” according to an RFL spokesperson.

Though, the change to relegation has been the headline, there are plenty of other changes which have been suggested by IMG such as the capping of foreign teams.

They said: “Participation of clubs outside the UK to be capped and with additional standards to support domestic growth.”

Thus, it seems IMG believes UK clubs should be prioritised moving forward.

Now it doesn’t seem that Catalans nor Toulouse will be booted out of the leagues but it seems no other clubs outside the UK will join them.

This means that should another Toronto Wolfpack scenario emerge, no matter how exciting the project, it is unlikely we will see them in Super League.

All of this somewhat echoes what Steve McNamara said after the first meetings with IMG when he accused Huddersfield and others of claiming the Dragons brought nothing to Super League despite playing in the 2021 Grand Final.



  1. Roland Orzabal

    September 29, 2022 at 3:14 am


  2. OzLeagueFan

    September 29, 2022 at 6:30 am

    It is not clear to me (and this is not a criticism of the article) what IMG wants to achieve, and how all these changes are going to do it.

    • OzLeagueFan

      September 29, 2022 at 6:43 am

      I have just seen

      This tells me that:
      “IMG’s recommendations have the overriding aim of driving the long-term value and impact of the sport.
      In summary the recommendations are:
      – A re-positioned calendar which optimises flow, narrative and engagement, incorporating regular ‘peaks’ of interest and a compelling season climax.
      – A calendar aligned with the global game to facilitate an international window in October and incorporate a mid-season international. “
      So now we know!
      Let me ask the same question as before: “how are the proposed changes going to meet these goals?”
      And – ignoring the marketing spin about a calendar aligned to the global game – does IMG expect to facilitate an international window in October while ignoring the collective bargaining agreement between the NRL and NRL Players Association ?

  3. Rolfelok

    October 2, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    So, no more European Super League. No more dreaming of one day making it to the Super League for young kids across Europe. Good luck with growing the game…

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