What Super League could look like in 10 years’ time under IMG

IMG are set to re-imagine rugby league.

A lot of talk has centred around the immediate future of their plans such as when they will introduce their new licencing to Super League.

But these changes are designed to ensure the long term future of the sport and ensure long term success as well.

So, as IMG look to reimagine the sport, what will this reimagining look like in a decade’s time?

Here’s our predictions:

New name

It has been suggested since IMG’s first recommendations, that a name change could be coming and this was re-affirmed by Rugby League Live recently as they suggested the reasoning behind this is the fact other organisations have taken on the title such as the women’s Super League in football.

Here’s a list of names IMG could consider as replacements for Super League.

A bigger league

Many have expressed concerns about the licencing and how it could work against historic members of Super League in favour of other teams. However, the aim of these licences is to get clubs to develop on and off the field and Super League clubs will hopefully step up.

So, hopefully we see them remain in Super League whilst others join them as more and more teams achieve Grade A licences which will hopefully see the competition grow. Yes some teams currently in Super League may have to spend some time in the Championship but all 12 current Super League sides have the tools to hold Grade Licences.

The aim of IMG is to grow the sport and not work against it which is why Grade A teams are guaranteed a place in Super League so the more Grade A teams the bigger the Super League so hopefully we could see a Super League team with 16 or even 18 teams.

Expansion Sides

This bigger league will likely include expansion clubs such as Newcastle Thunder and York.

Both clubs are outside of the traditional rugby league heartlands and have great ideas and are forward thinking. They also have strong fan bases demonstrated by the Rugby League World Cup.

London Broncos

IMG see the capital as central to the development of the sport seeing the club as a sleeping giant.

They see being a success in the capital as key so expect to see London in Super League again within the next decade.

Two big events

There won’t be any more Magic Weekends under IMG with greater focus given to the Challenge Cup Final and the Super League Grand Final.

Bigger play-offs

The play-offs have been no bigger than a six team affair since 2014 and the last eight team play-off structure which has been adopted by the NRL.

With a bigger league we could see a return of this larger play-off structure.

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