Super League

Click here to view Super League 2015
For other uses, see Super League (disambiguation).
Super League
Super League logo.png
Country  England
Other club(s) from  France
Founded 1996
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Championship
Domestic cup(s) Challenge Cup
International cup(s) World Club Series
Current champions
Saintscolours.svg St Helens (6th title)
Most championships
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
(6 titles)
TV partners Sky Sports (live matches)
BBC (highlights)
Website championship
Super League XX

Super League, officially the First Utility Super League for sponsorship reasons, is the top-level professional rugby league club competition in Europe. The league has twelve teams: eleven from England and one from France. The current champions are St Helens.

Super League began in 1996, replacing the Rugby Football League Championship and switching from a winter to a summer season. Each team plays 23 games between February and July: 11 home games, 11 away games and a Magic Weekend game at a neutral venue. At the end of the season, the top eight teams enter a Super 8 stage, playing each other once more. The top four then enter the play-off series leading to the Grand Final (formerly Championship Final) which determines the champions.

The Super League champions play the National Rugby League (NRL) champions from Australasia in the World Club Challenge.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 1996–2001: Establishment
    • 1.2 2002–2008: Promotion and relegation
    • 1.3 2009–2014: Licensing
      • 1.3.1 First licensing period
      • 1.3.2 Second licensing period
    • 1.4 2015-Onwards: Super 8s
  • 2 Clubs
    • 2.1 Current clubs
    • 2.2 Former Super League Clubs
    • 2.3 All Time Super League table
      • 2.3.1 Point deductions
    • 2.4 Venues
    • 2.5 Derbies
      • 2.5.1 Hull Derby
      • 2.5.2 Good Friday Derby
      • 2.5.3 Cheshire Derby
  • 3 Coaches
  • 4 Players
    • 4.1 Appearances
    • 4.2 Tries
    • 4.3 Points
  • 5 Structure
    • 5.1 World Club Series
    • 5.2 Regular Super League season
    • 5.3 Magic Weekend
    • 5.4 Super 8s
    • 5.5 Super League play-off series
    • 5.6 Grand Final
    • 5.7 Challenge Cup
  • 6 Awards
    • 6.1 League Leader's Shield
    • 6.2 Super League Trophy
    • 6.3 Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award
    • 6.4 Super League Dream Team
  • 7 Champions
    • 7.1 Winners
    • 7.2 The Double
    • 7.3 The Treble
    • 7.4 All Four Cups
    • 7.5 Head Coaches with multiple Super League titles
  • 8 Sponsorship
  • 9 Competition rules
    • 9.1 Club trained players
    • 9.2 Dual registration
    • 9.3 Academies
    • 9.4 Salary cap
    • 9.5 Squad announcement system
  • 10 Match officials
    • 10.1 Coaching & performance staff
    • 10.2 Full time match officials
    • 10.3 Cadet match officials
    • 10.4 Part-time match officials
  • 11 Media coverage
    • 11.1 Television
      • 11.1.1 Highlights
      • 11.1.2 Magazines
      • 11.1.3 International
    • 11.2 Radio
    • 11.3 Internet
  • 12 See also
  • 13 References
    • 13.1 Inline
    • 13.2 General
  • 14 External links


1996–2001: Establishment

The competition was first mooted during the Australian Super League war as a way for Rupert Murdoch to gain the upper hand during the battle for broadcasting supremacy with the Australian Rugby League. Murdoch also approached the British clubs to form Super League. A large sum of money aided the decision, and the competition got under way in 1996. Part of the deal saw rugby league switch from a winter to a summer season. The 12 founding teams of Super League were:

  • Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
  • Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers
  • Faxcolours.svg Halifax RLFC
  • Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
  • Broncoscolours.png London Broncos
  • Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Roughyeds
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
  • Saintscolours.svg St Helens
  • Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
  • Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
  • Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town

Initially, several mergers between existing clubs were proposed:

  • Castleford, Wakefield Trinity and Featherstone Rovers would form Calder
  • Hull and Hull Kingston Rovers would form Hull
  • Salford and Oldham were to form Manchester
  • Sheffield and Doncaster were to form South Yorkshire
  • Warrington and Widnes were to form Cheshire
  • Whitehaven, Workington Town, Barrow and Carlisle would form Cumbria

They were to be included with the following stand-alone clubs: Bradford Northern, Halifax, Leeds, London Broncos, Paris Saint-Germain, St. Helens and Wigan.

However this proved so unpopular that only existing clubs were selected for the competition. The clubs finishing below 10th in the existing top flight were excluded, which meant Featherstone Rovers, Hull, Wakefield Trinity and Widnes were left out, as were pioneering club Keighley who had just won the Second Division Championship. London Broncos, who had come fourth in the Second Division, were "fast-tracked" in on commercial grounds. A new team, Paris Saint-Germain, was created to give a French dimension. Between 1998 and 2000 there was no relegation from Super League.

2002–2008: Promotion and relegation

After two years Paris were dropped from the competition. Promotion and relegation between Super League and the Rugby League National Leagues was re-introduced, and in 2002 the Super League Europe (SLE) governing body re-integrated fully into the Rugby Football League (RFL). In 2006, French side Catalans Dragons (also known as UTC or Les Catalans) from Perpignan joined the league, becoming the second non-English team to compete. To facilitate this move, two clubs were relegated from Super League at the end of the 2005 season: Leigh who finished bottom of the league were replaced by the one club coming up from the National Leagues and Widnes who finished 11th (and would have stayed up any other year) were dropped for Les Catalans, thus the number of clubs in Super League remained at 12.

2009–2014: Licensing

Super League licences were announced in May 2005 by the RFL as the new determinant of the Super League competition's participants from 2009 in place of promotion and relegation. The licences were awarded after consideration of more factors than just the on-the-field performance of a club. After 2007 automatic promotion and relegation was suspended for Super League with new teams to be admitted on a licence basis with the term of the licence to start in 2009.

The RFL stated that clubs applying to compete in Super League would be assessed by criteria in four areas (stadium facilities, finance and business performance, commercial and marketing and playing strength, including junior production and development) with the final evaluations and decisions being taken by the RFL board of directors.

Successful applicants were licenced for three years of Super League competition and three-yearly reviews of Super League membership took place to ensure ambitious clubs lower down the leagues can still be successful.

Points attained by each club's application are translated into licence grades A, B or C. Clubs who achieved an A or B Licence would be automatically awarded a place in Super League, while those who achieved a C Licence underwent further scrutiny before the RFL decided who made the final cut.

First licensing period

Main article: 2009–11 Super League licences

In June 2008, the RFL confirmed that Super League would be expanded from 12 teams to 14 in 2009, and on 22 July 2008 the RFL confirmed the teams awarded licences. The teams announced were the 12 existing Super League teams along with National League 1 teams, Celtic Crusaders and Salford. Celtic Crusaders becoming the first Welsh team to play in Super League and the only team to be awarded a licence who had never played in the Super League previously.

Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh and Widnes all failed to attain a licence. Leigh and Widnes, especially, were disappointed with their exclusions with Leigh's chairman being extremely critical of the RFL.

Second licensing period

Main article: 2012–14 Super League licences
Logistics company Stobart Group was the League's title sponsor in 2012.

For the 2012–14 seasons Championship sides Batley, Barrow, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax and Widnes all met the on-field criteria needed to submit an application, but despite this only Barrow, Halifax and Widnes decided to submit an application. On 31 March 2011 Widnes were awarded a Super League licence; Barrow, did not meet the criteria and were refused a licence; and Halifax's application was to be further considered alongside the other Super League clubs.

The Rugby Football League's final decision was announced on 26 July 2011, Widnes would be joining thirteen existing Super League teams with Crusaders RL having withdrawn their application and Halifax not meeting the criteria. Crusaders CEO Rod Findlay stated that the club's finances were not in a good enough condition to justify their place in Super League. Halifax chairman Mark Steele was critical of the decision to award Wakefield a licence over themselves, saying "If you compare Belle Vue with the Shay, it's no contest; if you compare playing records, it's no contest; and if you compare the financial position, we have kept our head above water and they haven't." Wakefield had been favourites to lose their licence before Crusaders' withdrawal.

2015-Onwards: Super 8s

Main article: Rugby League Super 8s

At the 2013 Annual General Meeting at Bradford, the Super League clubs agreed to reduce the number of clubs to 12 from 2015, and also for a return of Promotion and Relegation with a 12 club Championship.

The 12 First Utility Super League and 12 Kingstone Press Championship clubs will play each other home and away over 22 "rounds", including a Magic Weekend for both divisions. Following the conclusion of their regular league seasons, the 24 clubs will then compete in a play-off series where they split into 3 leagues of 8 based upon league position:

  • The top 8 Super League clubs will continue to compete in the Super 8s. After playing each other once (either home or away), the top 4 clubs will progress to the semi-finals to determine who will compete in the Grand Final and be crowned champions.
  • The remaining (bottom 4) Super League clubs and the top 4 Championship clubs will compete in The Qualifiers. They will play each other once (either home or away) to determine which four of the clubs will compete in Super League the following year.
  • The remaining (bottom 8) Championship clubs will compete for the Championship Shield and to avoid relegation to Kingstone Press League 1. Two clubs will be relegated each year.

Funding for clubs will be tiered in both leagues to prevent relegation related financial difficulties.

In June 2015 8 of the 12 Super League clubs voted to allow a Marquee Player that can exceed a clubs salary cap as long as they can afford their wages. The marquee player rule comes into force for the 2016 Super League season.


Current clubs

Super League clubs
Colours Club Established City Stadium Capacity* Titles (Last)
Castleford colours.svg
Castleford Tigers 1925 Castleford, West Yorkshire Wheldon Road 12,000 0 (N/A)
Catalans Dragons 2000 Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France Stade Gilbert Brutus 13,000 0 (N/A)
Huddersfield Giants 1864 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire John Smith's Stadium 24,500 7 (1962)
Hull F.C. 1865 Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire KC Stadium 25,404 6 (1983)
Hull Kingston Rovers 1882 Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire Craven Park 12,000 5 (1985)
Leeds Rhinos 1864 Leeds, West Yorkshire Headingley 20,500 9 (2012)
Salford Red Devils 1873 Salford, Greater Manchester AJ Bell Stadium 12,000 6 (1976)
St Helens 1873 St. Helens, Merseyside Langtree Park 18,000 13 (2014)
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 1873 Wakefield, West Yorkshire Belle Vue 12,000 2 (1968)
Warrington Wolves 1876 Warrington, Cheshire Halliwell Jones Stadium 15,500 3 (1955)
Widnes colours.svg
Widnes Vikings 1875 Widnes, Cheshire Naughton Park 13,500 3 (1989)
Wigan Warriors 1872 Wigan, Greater Manchester DW Stadium 24,057 20 (2013)
  • *capacity for Rugby League games may differ from official stadium capacity.
  • *Gold - current Super League Champions
  • *Bold - Played in all 20 Super League Seasons (1996-2015)

Former Super League Clubs

Previous Super League clubs
Colours Club Established City Stadium Capacity* Number of Seasons
Bradford Bulls 1907 Bradford, West Yorkshire Odsal 27,491 19
Crusaders RL 2005 Wrexham, Wales Racecourse Ground 15,500 3
Newcastle Thunder 1999 Gateshead, Tyne and Wear Gateshead International Stadium 11,800 1
Halifax RLFC 1873 Halifax, West Yorkshire The Shay 14,000 8
Leigh colours.svg
Leigh Centurions 1878 Leigh, Greater Manchester Leigh Sports Village 12,005 1
London Broncos 1980 Barnet The Hive 5,176 19
Oldham 1876 Oldham, Greater Manchester Whitebank Stadium 1,500 2
Paris Saint-Germain 1995 Paris, France Stade Sébastien Charléty 20,000 2
Sheffeagles colours.svg
Sheffield Eagles 1984 Sheffield, South Yorkshire Don Valley Stadium 25,000 4
Workington Town 1945 Workington, Cumbria Derwent Park 10,000 1

*capacity for Rugby League games may differ from official stadium capacity.

  • Grey- Club defunct
  • Table shows current locations and stadiums only

All Time Super League table

  • Correct up to start of 2015 season.
Rank Name Seasons Playoff App Games Win Draw Loss Pts For Pts Agn Pts Diff Total Pts
Saintscolours.svg St Helens RFC*
20 17 509 361 14 134 16174 10012 6162 734
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors*
20 15 509 343 20 146 15190 9170 6020 700
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
20 17 509 335 14 160 14928 10335 4593 684
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls*
19 11 509 308 17 184 14620 11253 3367 617
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
20 9 509 266 9 234 13491 12444 1036 541
Hullcolours.svg Hull FC*
18 10 465 227 20 218 10908 10581 327 472
Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers
18 5 454 186 18 250 10264 12132 -1884 390
Broncoscolours.png London Broncos
19 2 509 185 20 304 10793 14229 -3436 390
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
17 7 437 189 8 240 10125 11204 -1063 386
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats*
17 3 441 160 6 275 9557 12478 -2908 320
Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils*
17 1 432 134 7 291 8131 12593 -4462 273
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons
10 6 244 113 7 124 5740 6119 -379 233
HKRcolours.svg Hull KR
9 4 216 99 7 110 5093 5430 -337 205
Faxcolours.svg Halifax RLFC*
8 1 209 76 4 129 4646 5908 -1262 154
Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings
8 1 193 68 6 119 4132 5989 -1857 142
Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
4 0 97 37 3 57 2027 2663 -636 77
Gthundercolours.svg Newcastle Thunder
1 0 30 19 1 10 775 576 199 39
Cruscolours.svg Crusaders RL*
3 1 81 21 0 60 1431 2463 -1032 38
Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Roughyeds
2 0 44 13 2 29 934 1312 -378 28
20 Paris Saint-Germain RL 2 0 44 9 1 34 760 1367 -607 5
Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town
1 0 22 2 1 19 325 1021 -696 5
Leigh colours.svg Leigh Centurions
1 0 28 2 1 25 445 1210 -765 5
  • Gold - Currently playing in Super League
  • Grey - Team now defunct

Point deductions

  • 2001 - Wakefield Trinity - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2003 - Halifax - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2003 - Hull - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2003 - St Helens - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2006 - Bradford - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2006 - Wigan - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2007 - Bradford - Salary Cap Breach - 2 points
  • 2007 - Wigan - Salary Cap Breach - 4 points
  • 2011 - Wakefield Trinity - Administration - 4 points
  • 2011 - Crusaders - Administration - 4 points
  • 2012 - Bradford - Administration - 6 points
  • 2013 - Salford - Fielding Extra Man - 2 points
  • 2014 - Bradford - Administration - 6 points


Main article: List of current and former Super League venues
Further information: English rugby league venues


Hull Derby

The Hull Derby is contested by Hull F.C. from the west side of Hull and Hull KR from the east side of Hull. The two teams are separated by the River Hull. In the late 1990s a merge was proposed between the two clubs to form Humberside or just Hull but this was later rejected. The rivalry was at its highest during the 1980s when both Hull sides were the dominant forces in the league.

Good Friday Derby

The Good Friday Derby is contested between Wigan Warriors and St Helens RFC. The two clubs have been the most successful clubs in England winning 31 Challenge Cups and 33 league titles between them. They have also met in three Grand Finals in the Super League era.

Cheshire Derby

The Cheshire Derby is a local derby between Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings. Both teams struck up a rivalry in the mid and late 20th Century being local rivals and being somewhat dominant forces in the Challenge Cup, Widnes were known as the Cup Kings during the late 1970s and 80s. In recent years the rivalry hasn't been as strong since Widnes were relegated in 2005 and promoted back to Super League in 2011 and Warrington became bigger rivals on the field with Leeds, Wigan and St Helens.


Nat. Name Club Appointed
England Wenger, ArseneDaryl Powell Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 2013
France Frayssinous, LaurentLaurent Frayssinous Catalanscolours.svg Catalan Dragons 2012
England Anderson, PaulPaul Anderson Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 2012
England Radford, LeeLee Radford Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 2014
England Chester, ChrisChris Chester HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 2012
England McDermott, BrianBrian McDermott Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 2011
Wales Harris, IestynIestyn Harris Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 2014
England Cunningham, KeironKeiron Cunningham Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC 2014
Australia Brian Smith Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 2015
Australia Smith, TonyTony Smith Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 2009
England Betts, DenisDenis Betts Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 2011
England Wane, ShaunShaun Wane Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 2011



  • Note that appearances from the bench are also included in this list.
Rank Player Club Years Appearances
1 England Paul Wellens Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 1998– present 476
2 England Keith Senior Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
1994– 2011 413
3 England Danny McGuire Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 2001–present 353
4 England Kirk Yeaman Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 2001–present 350


Rank Player Club Years Tries
1 England Danny McGuire Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 2001–present 215
2 England Keith Senior Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
1994– 2011 199


Rank Player Club Years Points
1 England Kevin Sinfield Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 1997-2015 3,204
2 England Paul Deacon Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Rougheyds
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
1997-2011 2,410


World Club Series

The World Club Series consists of three games, the first two being a series between 2 NRL teams and the Super League League Leaders and Challenge Cup winners. The third game is the World Club Challenge between the NRL and Super League Champions.

Regular Super League season

12 teams compete in Super League. They play each other twice on a home-and-away basis, interrupted by the Magic Weekend round in May. After the 23 rounds, the top eight teams carry their points forward and play each other once (home or away) in the Super Eights. A play-off series is used to determine the two teams who will meet in the Super League Grand Final to compete for the championship.

Magic Weekend

In an attempt to expand out of the traditional rugby league "heartlands", and market the game to a wider audience, the RFL has staged games in large stadia, in places without a strong rugby league presence. The "Magic Weekend" concept, which involves staging an entire round of Super League in such a stadium, was first staged in Cardiff in 2007. Dubbed "Millennium Magic", and played in the Millennium Stadium, the concept was held in Cardiff again in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, the event was held in Edinburgh at the Scottish national rugby union stadium, giving rise to the name changing to "Murrayfield Magic". Generally held during the May Day weekend, 2011 saw the Magic Weekend return to Cardiff, and was held during the weekend 12–13 February, and serving as the season opener. It has since returned to its traditional mid-season slot and is currently held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Stadium Location Country Highest attendance Average attendance
St James' Park Newcastle England N/A N/A

Super 8s

  • Top 8

The top 8 sees the top eight teams in Super League play each other once more home or away with the points they earn in the regular season being carried forward. The further up the table a team finishes, the more home games they will play. Once the teams have played each other once home or away the top team is awarded the League Leaders Shield and the top four teams enter the Super League Play Offs to play in the Grand Final.

Position Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points
1 Playoff/ League Leader 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Playoff 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Playoff 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Playoff 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • Qualifiers

The Qualifiers Super 8s sees the bottom 4 teams from the original Super League table mixed with the top 4 teams from the Championship. The points totals are reset to 0 and each team plays 7 games each, playing every other team once. After 7 games each the teams finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd will gain qualification to the next years Super League season. Teams finishing 4th and 5th will play in a Promotion Play-off, dubbed the "Million Pound Game" at the home of the 4th place team. This one game fixture will see the winner earn a place in the next year Super League season, whilst the loser, along with teams finishing 6th, 7th and 8th will be relegated to the next years Championship competition.

Position Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points for Points against Points
1 Automatic Super League Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Automatic Super League Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Automatic Super League Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Promotion Play-Off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Promotion Play-Off 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Championship Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Championship Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Championship Place 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Super League play-off series

Further information: Super League play-offs

In 2015, the First Utility Super League play-offs will be contested by the four sides finishing highest in the league after the Super Eights. The structure is designed to reward the teams finishing nearer the top and the most consistent teams. The Grand Final is played at Old Trafford.

The current First Utility Super League Play-off structure:

  • Top four play-offs
These matches involve the teams who finish in the top four.
They are:
  • 1st v 4th
  • 2nd v 3rd
The winners play in the Grand Final.

Grand Final

Further information: Super League Grand Final
Stadium Location Country Highest attendance Average attendance
Old Trafford Trafford, Greater Manchester England 72,582 63,352

Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup domestic cup in Super League and all levels of rugby legue in Britain And is usually played on August bank holiday. It has been held annually since 1896 and has been expanded so teams in Russia, France, Scotland and Wales can take part. The current winners are Leeds.

Stadium Location Country Highest attendance Average attendance
Wembley London England 99,801 77,000


League Leader's Shield

The League Leader's Shield is awarded to the team finishing the regular season top of Super League; this is also known as a minor premiership. The League Leader's Shield was introduced only in 2003, previously no prize was awarded to the team finishing top following the introduction of the Grand Final.

Club Wins Winning years
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
7 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
4 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
4 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
2 2004, 2009
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
1 2013
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
1 2011
  • Bold - Winners were Super League champions

Super League Trophy

The winner of the Grand Final is given the Super League Trophy as Super League Champions. This is considered more prestigious than the minor premiership. Each year, the year of a champion team's triumph, team name and team captain are engraved.

The record for most Super League titles won is held jointly by Leeds and St Helens with six titles each. Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield currently holds the record for captaining the most Super League title winning sides after captaining Leeds to all 6 of their grand final successes. St Helens contested the final 6 years in a row (from 2006 until 2011) during which time they succeeded only once in lifting the trophy against Hull in 2006; after which they suffered consecutive defeats against Leeds in 2007, 2008, 2009, Wigan in 2010 and Leeds once again in 2011.

Luke Burgess with the Super League trophy in 2009 following Leeds becoming Super League champions for the third successive year.

Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award

The Man of Steel Award is an annual award for the best player of the season in Super League. It has continued from pre-Super League times, with the first such award given in 1977. It was renamed in honour of Steve Prescott in 2014.

Super League Dream Team

Each season a Super League Dream Team is also named. The best thirteen players in their respective positions are voted for by members of the sports press.


See Rugby Football League Championship for the all-time list of champions since 1895.

The league format changed in 1998 and the championship became a play-off series to determine the Super League champions. This meant a reintroduction of a final to determine the European champions, the first since the 1972–73 season.

Season Grand Final Information League Leaders
Champions Score Runners-up
N/A Saintscolours.svg St Helens
N/A Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
1998 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 10–4 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
1999 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 8–6 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
2000 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 29–16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
2001 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 37–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
2002 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 19–18 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls Saintscolours.svg St Helens
2003 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 25–12 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
2004 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 16–8 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
2005 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 15–6 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos Saintscolours.svg St Helens
2006 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 26–4 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. Saintscolours.svg St Helens
2007 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 33–6 Saintscolours.svg St Helens Saintscolours.svg St Helens
2008 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 24–16 Saintscolours.svg St Helens Saintscolours.svg St Helens
2009 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 18–10 Saintscolours.svg St Helens Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2010 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 22–10 Saintscolours.svg St Helens Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
2011 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 32–16 Saintscolours.svg St Helens Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
2012 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 26–18 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
2013 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 30–16 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
2014 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 14–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Saintscolours.svg St Helens


Club Wins Winning years
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
6 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
6 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
4 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
3 1998, 2010, 2013
  • Bold - Winners were League Leaders

The Double

Main article: The Double (rugby league)

In rugby league, the term 'the Double' is referring to the achievement of a club that wins the top division and Challenge Cup in the same season. To date, this has been achieved by a total nine different clubs but by only three different clubs during the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
7 1989-90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93,
1993–94, 1994–95, 2013
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
3 1965-66, 1996, 2006
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
2 1912-13, 1914–15
Barrowcolours.svg Broughton Rangers
1 1901-02
Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1 1902-03
Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet Hawks
1 1907-08
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Lions
1 1927-28
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
1 1953-54
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
1 2003

The Treble

Main article: The Treble (rugby league)

The Treble refers to the team who wins all three domestic honours on offer during the season; Grand Final, League Leaders Shield and Challenge Cup. To date four teams have won the treble, only Bradford Bulls & St Helens RFC have won the treble in the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
2 1912-13, 1914–15
Saintscolours.svg St Helens RFC
2 1965-66, 2006
Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet Hawks
1 1907-08
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Lions
1 1927-28
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
1 1994-95
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
1 2003

All Four Cups

Main article: All Four Cups

Winning all Four Cups refers to winning the Super League, League Leaders Shield, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge in one season. Not all of these cups were available in the past but have replaced over cups that could be won.

Club Wins Winning years
Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet Hawks
1 1907-08
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
1 1914-15
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Lions
1 1927-28
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
1 1994-95
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls
1 2003-04
Saintscolours.svg St Helens
1 2006-07

Head Coaches with multiple Super League titles

Head Coach Wins Winning years
1 Brian Noble 3 2001, 2003, 2005.
2 Ian Millward 2 2000, 2002.
3 Tony Smith 2 2004, 2007.
4 Brian McClennan 2 2008, 2009.
5 Brian McDermott 2 2011, 2012.


Main article: English rugby league sponsorship
First Utility Super League sponsorship logo used by the media and on players shirt

Super League has been sponsored since its formation, apart from the 2013 season.

The title sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. There have been six different title sponsors since the league's formation:

Period Sponsor Name
1996-1997 Stones Bitter Stones Super League
1998-1999 JJB Sports JJB Super League
2000-2004 Tetley's Bitter Tetley's Super League
2005-2011 Engage Mutual Assurance Engage Super League
2012 Stobart Group Stobart Super League
2013 None Super League
2014-2016 First Utility First Utility Super League

As well as title sponsorship, Super League has a number of official partners and suppliers. For the 2014 season these include Alcatel One Touch, Brut, Foxy Bingo, Irn-Bru, Isuzu and Specsavers. The official ball supplier is Rhino Rugby, who have held the contract since the 2013 season when they took over from Steeden.

Competition rules

Club trained players

The 'club trained player' rule stipulates that each club must have a minimum number of players who are aged under 21 years or are graduates from their own academy system in their 25-man first team squad. Clubs are also required to have a minimum number of UK-trained players (or in the case of the Catalans Dragons, France-trained players) in their squads, and also are limited to a maximum number of "overseas" trained players.

The table below shows how the figures for the ruling from 2008–2011.

club trained players
Year home grown players (min) UK trained players (min) overseas trained players (max)
2008 5 10 10
2009 6 11 8
2010 7 12 6
2011 8 12 5

Dual registration

Clubs in both the First Utility Super League and the Kingstone Press Championships benefit from the new dual registration system which was introduced for the 2013 season. The new system is intended to complement the existing player loan system.

Dual registration refers to an arrangement between clubs whereby a player continues to be registered to his current First Utility Super League club and is also registered to play for a club in the Kingstone Press Championship. The system is aimed at young Super League players who are thought to be not quite ready to make the step up to ‘week in, week out’ Super League first team duties but for whom first team match experience is likely to be beneficial for their development.

  • Only First Utility Super League players can be dual registered and the receiving club must be a club in the Kingstone Press Championships, meaning that Super League to Super League club dual registrations are not available.
  • A dual registered player will be eligible to play and train with both clubs in a format agreed between the clubs, subject to registration, salary cap and competition eligibility rules.
  • The player is restricted to playing in one fixture per scheduled round of fixtures in any given week and would not be eligible to play for his First Utility Super League club on a Thursday and in a Kingstone Press Championship fixture at the weekend, for example.
  • A receiving club will be limited to a total of five dual registered players per matchday squad.


Main article: Super League Under 19s

In 2014 the following teams will run in each of the Senior Academy divisions:


  • The Academy U19s competition is primarily for Super League clubs. Catalans Dragons does not currently have a teams in the league as they run their lower grade sides in the French league; however they will be joining the competition from 2015.
  • The Academy U19s competition has a 6 team play-off with a Grand Final at the end of the play-off series.
  • The Championships U20s have a 3 team play-off with a Grand Final at the end of the play-off series.
  • Many Super League, Championship and Championship 1 sides also have Academy U16 teams. They compete in a small number of games throughout the season and all such games are seen as friendly matches.

Salary cap

The Super League operates under a real-time salary cap system that will calculate a club’s salary cap position at the start of and throughout the season:

  • The combined earnings of the top 25 players must not exceed £1.65 million.
  • Clubs will only be allowed to sign a new player if they have room under the cap.
  • Clubs are allowed to spend a maximum of £50,000 on players outside the top 25 earners who have made at least one first grade appearance for the club during the year.
  • Costs for players outside of the top 25 earners who do not make a first team appearance will be unregulated.
  • Any player who has played for the same club for at least 10 consecutive seasons will have half their salary excluded from the salary cap for his 11th and subsequent seasons. This is subject to a maximum of £50,000 for any one club.
  • Clubs are allowed one Marquee Player who can exceed a clubs salary cap as long as they can afford the players wages.

Squad announcement system

Before each Super League and Tetley's Challenge Cup fixture, each club must announce the squad of 19 players it will choose from by 2.00pm on the second day before the match day.

Match officials

All Super League matches are governed by the laws set out by the RFL; these laws are enforced by match officials. Former Super League and International Referee Steve Ganson is the current Acting Head of the Match Officials Department and Technical Director. Former Hull player and Huddersfield Head Coach Jon Sharp was the previous Head of the Match Officials Department of the RFL. Sharp was sacked in July 2015 and took up the role of Head Coach at Featherstone Rovers. He assumed his role at the RFL following Stuart Cummings' departure in March 2013 having previously held the role of Match Officials Coach & Technical Director.

Coaching & performance staff

  • Steve Ganson – Acting Head of Match Officials & Technical Director
  • Ian Smith – Match Officials Coach
  • Dave Campbell - Match Officials Coach
  • Tony Brown - Match Officials Coach
  • Ray Tennant - Match Officials Coach

Full time match officials

Country Name Referee Touch Judge First Super League Game Date Venue
England Phil Bentham Wakefield Trinity v Hull 11/09/2005 Belle Vue
England James Child Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons 15/03/2009 Belle Vue
England Joseph Cobb London Broncos v Wigan Warriors 05/07/2014 The Hive
England Robert Hicks Leeds v Crusaders RL 20/06/2010 Headingley
England Chris Kendall - v - --/--/-- -
England Richard Silverwood Halifax v Salford 06/05/2001 The Shay
England Ben Thaler London Broncos v Leigh 29/05/2005 Griffin Park

Cadet match officials

Cadets primarily referee in the Kingstone Press Championship and the Kingstone Press League 1 and Touch Judge in the First Utility Super League. There are opportunities for cadets to referee in the First Utility Super League when games become available.

England Tom Crashley
England Adam Gill
England Chris Kendal
England Chris Leatherbarrow
England George Stokes
England Andy Sweet
England Matthew Thomason
England Warren Turley
England Michael Woodhead

Part-time match officials

Part-time match officials referee in the Kingstone Press Championship and the Kingstone Press League 1 and may Touch Judge in the First Utility Super League.

England Sam Ansell
South Africa Jamie Bloem
England Chris Campbell
England Tom Grant
England Gareth Hewer
England Dave Merrick
England Scott Mikalauskas
England Jon Roberts

Media coverage


Sky Sports have been the primary broadcast partner of Super League since its inaugural season in 1996. The current deal lasts until 2021 and covers 80 matches per season, rising to 100 from 2015. They currently have the rights to show live Super League games in both Ireland and the United Kingdom; two live matches are broadcast each week – one on Thursday nights at 7:30pm (kick off 8pm) and another at 7:30pm on Friday nights (kick off 8pm). From 2014, they also simulcast all of Catalans Dragons' home games and from 2015, will broadcast regular Kingstone Press Championship matches.

Duration Broadcaster
1996–2021 Sky Sports


In addition to Sky Sports' live coverage, BBC Sport broadcast a weekly highlights programme called the Super League Show, usually presented by Tanya Arnold. This is broadcast to the North West, Yorkshire & North Midlands, North East & Cumbria, and East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire regions on BBC 1 on Monday nights (after 11pm) and is repeated nationally on BBC 2 on Tuesday afternoons. A national repeat was first broadcast overnight during the week since February 2008 when the then BBC Director of Sport, Roger Mosey, commented that this move was in response to the growing popularity and awareness of the sport, and the large number of requests from people who want to watch it elsewhere in the UK. The end of season play-off series is shown nationwide in a highlights package. The Super League Show is also available for streaming or download using the BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Highlights programme Duration Broadcaster
Super League Show 1999–Present BBC


Regular commentators are Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson with summarisers including Phil Clarke, Brian Carney, Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor. Live Super League broadcasts regularly rank amongst the top 10 most watched programmes in a week on Sky Sports with in excess of 250,000 viewers. Sky Sports also run several supplementary magazine shows, including Super League Full Time and Boots N' All.

Premier Sports and Made in Leeds show a rugby league magazine program called Rugby AM hosted by Alex Simmons, Jamie Jones Buchanan and Keith Senior. It is aired on a Thursday night at 7 and is also repeated on Saturday. Rugby AM also has a radio show on All Star FM.


Internationally Super League is shown live by eight different broadcasters in eight different countries and regions.

Country/ Region Broadcaster
Middle East OSN
North Africa
 France BeIn Sport
 New Zealand Sky Sport
Māori Television
 United States Fox Soccer Plus
 Russia NTV+
Eastern Europe Sportklub
 Australia FOX Sports


BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra covers more than 70 Super League games through 5 Live Rugby League each Thursday and Friday night. Each 3 hour programme is presented by Dave Woods with a guest summariser (usually a Super League player or coach) and in addition to live commentary also includes interviews and debate. A 5 Live Rugby League podcast is available to download each week from the BBC website at

Super League is also covered extensively by BBC Local Radio:

Station Area
BBC Radio Humberside Hull
BBC Radio Leeds West Yorkshire
BBC Radio Manchester Salford, Wigan and Warrington.
BBC Radio Merseyside St Helens, Warrington and Widnes.

The competition is also covered on commercial radio stations:

  • Radio Yorkshire cover two matches per round featuring Yorkshire clubs.
  • BCB 106.6 (Bradford Community Broadcasting) have full match commentary on Bradford home and away.
  • Wish FM have full match commentary on Wigan and St Helens matches home and away.
  • Wire FM have full match commentary of Warrington amatches home and away.
  • Grand Sud FM covers every Catalans Dragons Home Match (in French).
  • Radio France Bleu Roussillon covers every Catalans Dragons Away Match (in French).

All Super League commentaries on any station are available via the particular stations on-line streaming.


ESPN3, formerly ESPN360, has had worldwide broadband rights since 2007 when they broadcast the 2007 Grand Final.

Since 9 April 2009, all of the matches shown on Sky Sports have also been available live online via Livestation everywhere in the world excluding the US, Puerto Rico, UK, Ireland, France, Monaco, Australia and New Zealand. Theses matches are also available online for UK users only through Sky Go and Now TV.

In the United Kingdom, a number of commercial radio stations, along with BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the local BBC radio stations simulcast commentary of Super League games on the internet. Additionally, the 5 Live Rugby League podcast is available to download each week from the BBC website at

See also

Portal icon Rugby league portal
  • Super League records
  • List of sports attendance figures
  • Super League Ultimate 13: Grand Final Team
  • British rugby league system



  1. ^ BBC Sport (19 May 2005). "Super League set for 2009 changes". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  2. ^ RFL. "Licensing". The Rugby Football League. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  3. ^ BBC Sport (22 May 2005). "Franchise system 'is way forward'". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  4. ^ Angela Powers. "Licence to thrill". Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Gary Slater (18 June 2008). "Super League to expand to 14". London: Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  6. ^ Sky Sports (17 June 2008). "Super League set to expand". Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  7. ^ BBC Sport (16 July 2008). "Clubs confident over franchises". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  8. ^ Ian Laybourn. "Leigh blast for Super League". Sporting Life. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 
  9. ^ BBC Sport (8 October 2010). "Five clubs in Super League queue". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  10. ^ BBC Sport (3 December 2010). "Widnes, Halifax and Barrow meet Super League deadline". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Vikings awarded Super League licence". Super League Official. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Thirteen Super League licences awarded for 2012 to 2014". RFL. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  13. ^ BBC Sport (26 July 2011). "Crusaders withdraw application for Super League place". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Super League to become a 12-team competition from 2015. (11 July 2013). Retrieved on 20 August 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "New top eight play-off format for engage Super League". Super League (Europe). 1 December 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  18. ^ "Super League play-offs overhauled". BBC. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Competition Structure". The RFL. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Triline Sports". Triline Sports. Retrieved 18 June 2007. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ List of Super League games available on


  • Caplan, Phil; Doidge, Jonathan R. (2006). Super League – the first ten years. The History Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0752436982. 

External links

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