We take a look at the upcoming 2015 Super League season and give seven reasons why it will be worth watching this year.
1.The Return Of Promotion And Relegation
The old licensing system has gone and have been replaced by promotion and relegation to and from Super League. There will now be three divisions from July based on the league positions of sides in the top two divisions after the first 23 games.
The top eight clubs are guaranteed to play in the Super League next season and will play a further seven league fixtures. The top four clubs will then go into the play-off semi-finals with the two winners battling it out in the Grand Final.
2.The Million Pound Game
In the new Super League system, the bottom four clubs from the top division, and the top four clubs from the second division will come together in a league of eight where they will play-off over the remaining seven fixtures.
The top three clubs in this secondary league are guaranteed to play in the Super League the following season whilst the bottom three will play in the Championship. The fourth and fifth places sides will play-off in a game dubbed “The Million Pound Game” to determine which of them joins the Super League next year.
3.The World Club Series
This year the World Club series has been expanded to six teams (three from Australia and three from England). This year Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, St Helens, St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs will all battle it out for the crown.
The series is proving to be so popular already that the Rabbitohs game against St Helens has already sold out at Langtree Park with a crowd of 18,000 expected. The series pits the very best teams from around the world against each other in a winner takes all battle.
4.The Challenge Cup
Much like the FA Cup in football, the Challenge Cup represents an opportunity for the underdogs of the lower leagues to face-off against the big boys of Super League and has thrown up more than a few surprises over the years.
Although massive shocks are quite rare, there is always plenty of drama to keep fans entertained. There’s also something quite special about a group of part-timers coming up against a fully professional Super League side.
There have been a raft of new signings ahead of the new Super League season, with Warrington Wolves leading the charge as they look to claim their first league title since 1955. Fijian internationals Ashton Sims and Super League Man of Steel Daryl Clark have both joined the Wolves.
Elsewhere Catalan Dragons have signed Remi Casty and Todd Carney as they look to build on last season whilst The Championship has also attracted a host of big names as teams look to challenge for a place in Super League next season.
6.England Looking To Get Back On Track
After the disappointment of last years Four Nations, the England national side will be looking to bounce back in their three test series against New Zealand later this season. This is sure to keep players on their toes during the Super League season.
With New Zealand set to tour at the end of the Super League season, there is a huge opportunity for players to put their hands up for selection. Particularly those currently playing outside of Super League but hoping to earn promotion this year.
Big hits, spectacular tries and non-stop action will help to ensure that Super League remains one of the premier club competitions in world sport. Super League is second only to the NRL when it comes to quality in rugby league so is always worth a watch and bet online on rugby league matches.
Although many union fans are quick to dismiss rugby league, what they often forget are the talented players it has produced who have switched codes. It’s always worth keeping an eye on just to see who the next big star might be.