IMG grading dates revealed as Super League expansion addressed for 2025

Aaron Bower
Super League logo, IMG logo, Bevan French, Ash Handley, Jack Welsby in front of Old Trafford tunnel branded up with Super League boardings

The identity of the 12 clubs that will be in Super League in 2025 will be revealed on Wednesday 23 October, it has been confirmed by the Rugby Football League.

IMG’s gradings system will determine which clubs are awarded a place in Super League next season and for the first time, more details have been published about the schedule across the remainder of this year.

The final gradings will not be revealed to either clubs or the rugby league public until after every competitive match has concluded. The Super League Grand Final will take place on Saturday 12 October, with the Championship Grand Final – a match that awards 0.25 bonus points in the grading criteria to the winner – a week later.

Then, within a matter of days, clubs will be told their final grade and where they sit – with a formal announcement on Wednesday 23 October.

Clubs will submit all their relevant data to the RFL at various points throughout the month of September, enabling them to hand in the most up-to-date records in a variety of metrics for the 2024 season. That will be then added to their existing 2022 and 2023 records to provide a three-year overview which comprises the period for the 2025 gradings.

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However, clubs can see what their potential score is likely to be during the year after IMG created a tool that enables them to input data that would generate mock-up scores. They do not, however, see what any other club’s score is: only their own.

The RFL’s Tony Sutton explained: “IMG have done a good job of creating a forecaster, flash predictor tool. It’s pre-loaded with the 2022 and 2023 data and club can, for example, model what a 10 per cent increase in their crowds would look like.

“What they don’t get is a view of everyone else, though.”

With seven clubs – Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC and Hull KR – awarded provisional A grades last year, and a number of other Super League sides optimistic they can pass the 15-point threshold that would see them elevated to A, the inevitable discussion surrounding expansion of the top-flight is starting to emerge once again.

However, Sutton insisted that for 2025 at least, there will be no expansion.

He said: “We’re committed to 12 teams in Super League next year. The position from IMG is there’s a future aspiration to grow the Super League as and when there are more than 12 Grade A clubs.”

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