Toronto or Toulouse can become Super League’s first new face for 10 years

James Gordon

Toronto Wolfpack are on the brink of becoming the first new team to join Super League in a decade.

Their win over Widnes on Saturday not only condemned the Vikings to relegation, but also lifted them up to third place in The Qualifiers.

In the most dramatic series yet, any three of six teams could finish in the top three going in to the final round, or indeed reach the Million Pound Game, with one Championship side guaranteed to progress.

Toulouse would also be a new face to Super League should they prosper, though both they and Toronto face tricky away ties in the final around, against Salford and Leeds respectively.

The French side are probably the most likely to agonisingly drop to sixth place, but will take great heart from their win over Hull KR last week as they go to face a Red Devils side that has suffered back to back defeats.

But in just their second year of existence, Toronto are edging ever close to what was always their aim – a place in Super League.

A team that followed a similar path to the Wolfpack were Celtic Crusaders, who were the last new team to enter the top flight back in 2009.

Crusaders didn’t have to earn their place on the field though, granted a licence having earned promotion in 2007 to the then National League 1 and losing in the Grand Final to Salford, who were also given a licence, in 2008.

Should Toronto make their way up, they would become the 23rd different club to have played in Super League since its inception in 1996.

Prior to Crusaders, Leigh were the last new face in the competition back in 2005, while Widnes were the last before that in 2002.

A return for London would mean their 20th Super League season, having played in every single season up until the end of 2014, and they would be the first team to have lost their Super League place in the last 10 years to return to the top flight.

Teams to have played in Super League (seasons in brackets)

Bradford (19, last 2014),
Castleford (22),
Catalans (13),
Crusaders (3, last 2011),
Gateshead (1, last 1999),
Halifax (8, last 2003),
Huddersfield (20),
Hull FC (21),
Hull KR (11),
Leeds (23),
Leigh (2, last 2017),
London (19, last 2014),
Oldham (2, 1997),
Paris (2, last 1997),
Salford (20),
Sheffield (4, last 1999),
St Helens (23),
Wakefield (20),
Warrington (23),
Widnes (11),
Wigan (23),
Workington (1, last 1996),