HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Jermaine McGillvary of Huddersfield Giants celebrates with team mate Will Pryce after scoring his team's fourth try during the Betfred Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC at John Smith's Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

The Super League competition in England may be set for some big changes, including scraping both the automatic relegation system and the annual Magic round.

The proposal came from the Super League's strategic partner IMG on Wednesday.

Clubs are set to be divided into a tier system with rankings dependent on both on and off-field criteria that has yet to be finalised.

Those categorised as 'A' tier sides guaranteed a place in the top grade competition, with 'B' grade teams then occupying the remaining spots.

Teams in the 'B' grade will also be subject to an annual review to ensure them their place in the top flight.

IMG and the Super League are also thinking of tinkering with the U.K's rugby league calendar, rescheduling the Challenge Cup and creating more space for international football.

However, these changes will likely mean the death of Magic Round, an annual fixture in the league since 2007.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 12: St Helens player James Graham in action during the Engage Super League game between St Helens v Wigan Warriors at Millennium Stadium on February 12, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

IMG's Vice President of Sports Management, Matt Dwyer spoke out about these changes in a media presentation in Manchester yesterday.

"We have a unique opportunity to alter the growth trajectory of the sport," Dwyer stated.

"We believe the recommendations we have presented today will provide the foundation for that growth and attract new investment into the game."

These changes are to be instated in 2024 but on the condition that the majority of the 37 clubs involved in the UK rugby league vote in favour.

The Super League's partnership with IMG spans back to May of this year, when the league announced a twelve-year partnership with the sports, media and fashion brand.

Their partnership is based on a shared mission to: "reimagine Rugby League and its competitions in the UK."


  1. I read on:

    “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. “

    There is a lot of marketing spin and bs in that IMG statement, and a surprising naiveté, thinking it can play internationals in October – when half the NRL and Super League teams are smashed up from playing finals, and the other half clocked off a month ago and won’t be thinking about rugby league until the pre-season.

    Or maybe they have been talking to Mr V’Landys, and that is why the collective bargaining talks with NRLPA have been delayed so long.

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