Super League: Clubs support Super-8s for at least one more season

RFL chief commercial officer and Super League executive director Roger Draper.
RFL chief commercial officer and Super League executive director Roger Draper.

THE SUPER-8S will continue next year, the Rugby Football League have confirmed.

A meeting of the 12 Betfred Super League clubs agreed there will be no “major structural change” to the elite division next season, but the format of the competition will remain under review for 2019 onwards.

2017 League Leaders' Shield winners, Castleford Tigers. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

2017 League Leaders' Shield winners, Castleford Tigers. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

A statement from the governing body said: “The clubs were unanimous in their view that the 2017 Betfred Super League season has provided great entertainment and excitement and that whilst the plan is still to review the merits of the current structure from 2019 onwards, it was in the best interests of the competition that there were no major changes made for the start of the 2018 season.”

RFL chief commercial officer and Super League executive director, Roger Draper, said: “The meeting held earlier this month was another positive one and all clubs were fully engaged and excited about the issues we discussed.

“The Rugby Football League and every Super League club is determined that we work together to grow this great game and we now have clarity for the 2018 season and time to consider a variety of options for future years.”

Draper paid tribute to Castleford Tigers after they secured the league leaders’ shield with four games remaining in the Super-8s.

2016 Grand Final winners, Wigan Warriors.

2016 Grand Final winners, Wigan Warriors.

He added: “The 2017 Betfred Super League season is one of the most exciting in recent years and Castleford’s victory earlier this month, crowning them league leaders for the first time in their 91-year history, was a fantastic occasion for all involved with the club.

“Following a brilliant Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final, we now go into the final four rounds of the season looking forward to seeing who will join Castleford in the semi-finals, with any one of the seven other teams in the Super-8s still in with a chance of making the top four.

“The fact Castleford are the sixth different club to top the league in six seasons is testament to the tremendous competition that exists in Super League.”

Clubs are understood to still be discussing a proposal to award the leaders’ shield after 23 rounds, before the Super-8s begin. Bringing evening kick-offs forward to 7.45pm is also under consideration.

Ryan Hall in action during the Rugby League World Cup. PIC: PA

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