Three options on the table for Super League changes

Three proposals have been put to Super League and Championship clubs as options for competition structure from 2015 onwards.

The first would see Super League revert to a 12-team competition, and a 10 or 12 team Championship with one club promoted/relegated between the two divisions each year.

The second would see a two division Super League with 10 teams in each division.

The third option would see two leagues of 12 split in to three leagues of eight. It would see the 12 teams in each tier play each other once (11 fixtures – comprising 5 home matches per club plus a Magic round) before splitting: the first eight-team division would comprise the top eight clubs from Tier One; the second eight would be drawn from the bottom four in Tier One and the top four in Tier Two; and the third eight from the bottom eight in Tier Two. The clubs in each group would play each other home and away (14 fixtures).

Each of the three groups would conclude with a play-offs and climax in a Grand Final/play-off final with final standings at the end of the regular season determining the make-up of Tiers One and Two the following season.

The proposals are part of the RFL’s Policy Review, which was always promised to happen after two terms of the licensing system.

Chief executive Nigel Wood said: “It was really important that we consulted directly with all parts of the game first as part of the Policy Review process. The interest already shown in these ideas has been very encouraging and I believe these new proposals will produce positive change and innovation across the whole sport.

“I do believe that we need to create a pathway into Super League but it is essential that we are mindful of the challenges that a straight re-introduction of promotion and relegation between part-time and full-time leagues would create.

“Whilst there is a recognition that the time is right for change, we fully understand the need to avoid destabilising the excellent progress that has been made in recent years.

“Consequently, addressing sustainable opportunities for clubs to progress has been at the forefront of our thinking and the reason why we have included a bold new approach to league structures within the Policy Review.”

The RFL are currently looking at its policies in relation to competition structures and game integration, Super League licensing and promotion/relegation, club sustainability and RFL support, youuth development and the expansion of the sport.

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