The million pound match to decide final Super League spot from 2015

The final slot in Super League each year following the re-structure will be decided by a game dubbed “the million pound match”.

It will see the teams that finish in fourth and fifth of the so-called “middle eight” play-off for the 12th and final spot in the top flight in the following season.

The game could move to address worries that there will be a gulf between the four Super League sides and the four Championship sides in the middle eight, meaning that ultimately, promotion and relegation comes down to 80 minutes of rugby.

Although yet to be officially ratified, the re-structure will see two leagues of 12 split in to three leagues of eight after 23 rounds.

The finer details of the new system, and perhaps most pivotally the financing of it, are still to be thrashed out, although the RFL hopes to have everything sorted sooner rather than later.

RFL chief Nigel Wood said: “Clearly clubs can’t move from a part-time league to a full-time league, that’s the equation we’re trying to solve. This potential solution provides a sensible way of progression.

The difference in funding between Super League and the Championship currently stands at a ratio of 12:1, something that will be addressed before 2015.

Wood is expecting that at least two current Championship clubs will move towards full-time operations for that season, increasing the employment opportunities for full-time players.

Another quirk to the new system is that points from the first phase of the season will be carried over in the top and bottom eight, while they will reset for clubs in the middle eight.

The eventual top four after 30 rounds will proceed to the play-offs, likely to be a straight semi-final knockout and then Grand Final.

The bottom two of the bottom eight after 30 rounds will be relegated out of the top 24, and replaced by two promoted teams from what is likely to be a single national division of around 12 teams.

The emphasis on the new model is to increase more intensity of competition, which the RFL hopes will attract more money through sponsorship and broadcasting deals.

Adding extra guaranteed games across the board is also set to increase revenue for clubs at all levels.

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