Round 19 #NRL teamlists and officials are in.
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45 hours ago
Super League Rugby has clarified that the controversial Super 8 format will indeed be scrapped after the end of the ongoing season, and that they'd be returning back to the conventional one up, one down structure between the Championship and the Super League for the next season in 2019.
The Super 8 format used to involve the top 2 divisions split into 3 different tiers of 8, with the middle 8 competing in the qualifiers to book a place for themselves in the final 4 of the Super League in the following year. You can learn more about this format and stay tuned to the latest updates in both Super League and RFL at LeagueUnlimited.
This format has drawn plenty of criticism ever since its introduction in the year 2015. Many punters were speculating on the possibility of this happening. Talking about punters, please know if you've been thinking about betting on rugby games but didn't know where to begin, Sbat is the most reliable and popular online bookmaker you can go with.
While the relegation and promotion will continue to be there even in the revised structure in 2019, the format approved by the clubs (for implementation from the next season) is more conventional in nature.
Leeds Rhinos were the only club that voted against the change. Gary Hetherington, the chief executive of the club was of the opinion that the move is an absurd step by a small group of men to grab power of the game. Leeds have always been vocal about their displeasure with such decisions. Not too long ago in February they got pretty angry because of a late switch in rules before their clash with Melbourne Storm.
The Wigan owner, Ian Lenagan on the other hand said in a statement to the press, "We are committed to promotion and relegation. It's not going to be four clubs in jeopardy any more - but one being promoted and one being relegated. We are planning for it to take effect for the beginning of 2019."
He also refuted claims that Super League is attempting to gain more control over its future - something that involves Robert Elstone's appointment as well - and is trying to distance itself from the RFL. He reiterated that regardless of the changes coming about in the next season, the funding provided to the lower leagues will stay un-impacted at least until the current broadcast deal concludes in 2021.
The new chief executive of the Super League, Robert Elstone said, "We have looked at a competitive structure that really isn't working: effectively it provides too much uncertainty. The job starts with building a positive working relationship with the Rugby Football League and that's recognising Super League's responsibilities to the wider game, too."
The chairman of St. Helens, Eamonn McManus offered his opinion stating that they don't believe that Super 8 is the best structure for most optimum commercial returns, after having tried it for 4 years. He reiterated that everyone is looking forward to tremendous opportunities for both the Super League as well as the rugby game in general.