Brown backing new structure

Nathan Brown
Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown has endorsed the new rugby league structure, calling the move “great for TV and crowds”.

Relegation and promotion, which ended in 2007, will once more becomes a regular part of Super League from next year.

From next season, rugby league bosses have decided to introducing three divisions incorporating 38 clubs following what they describe as “the most comprehensive consulation process in the history of the sport”.

At the end of the 2014 Super League campaign the leading 12 will remain in the top flight while the bottom two, Bradford Bulls and London Broncos, will join up with the leading 10 teams in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Brown said: “It seems quite exciting. It’s good that some initiative has been shown from the top.

“The new TV deal has been good and I’m a big fan of strengthening the competition at the bottom - that’s a great idea.

“I’m an Aussie so I’m not normally a big fan of promotion and relegation - I’m a fan of teams down the bottom building their way up.

“But I appreciate why it’s been done. It will be great for TV, great for crowds and good for the excitement.

“Making every game count towards the end of the year is no bad thing. We’re all going to be watching next year with some excitement.”

In the 2015 First Utility Super League, all 12 clubs will face each other home and away, as well as the traditional round of Magic Weekend fixtures that will take the total number of ties that each team play to 23.

At this point, the top eight teams in Super League will break away and face each other one more time each in what will be called The Super 8s.

Clubs will carry forward the points they accumulate in the regular season of 23 matches, by adding those they earn in the final seven.

After a total of 30 games, the top four qualify for the semi-final play-offs where the top two will enjoy home-field advantage. As is

usual, the winners of the semi-final ties will contest the Grand Final

at Old Trafford.

Outside of the top eight clubs, the subsequent eight (the bottom four

clubs in Super League and top-four Championship clubs) have their own

end of season event – called The Qualifiers – from which the top three

secure top flight status for 2016.

Those teams that finish the end-of-season Qualifiers in fourth and

fifth spot, meet in a one-off match to decide who becomes the lucky

12th for the following season’s Super League campaign. The team which

finishes higher in The Qualifiers table will enjoy home advantage.

Elsewhere, next year’s Challenge Cup is also undergoing a facelift,

with the top eight teams being exempt until round six – which will

feature 16 clubs in all.

Mr Wood said: “The changes will ensure that every minute of every

match in every competition matters and are being implemented following

the most comprehensive consultation process in history of the sport

history.

“The return of promotion and relegation in a format that is

financially sustainable for all clubs should ensure fans are

entertained from February to October, with an exciting season

punctuated by a series of world-class events commencing with the World

Club Challenge and finishing at Old Trafford with the Super League

Grand Final.”