IMG have revealed their first batch of provisional gradings – with seven Super League clubs awarded the highest rank of Grade A, including both Hull clubs and newly-promoted London sitting a staggering 24th.
The 2025 Super League will be comprised by the highest-ranking 12 clubs, and IMG have informed all professional clubs where they sit to give them 12 months to improve before the rankings come into full effect at the end of next season across the five pillars that make up the 20-point grading. They are fandom, stadium, performance, finance and community – and a full explainer of how the points are awarded can be seen here.
Leeds Rhinos lead the way, with a score of 17.49 out of the maximum available 20, following detailed analysis of every club’s performance. They are followed by three clubs separated by 0.14 points, with Wigan Warriors’ success in winning the 2023 Grand Final lifting them to second on 16.87, ahead of St Helens in third on 16.78 and Catalans Dragons in fourth on 16.73.
Warrington Wolves are fifth on 15.75, and both Hull clubs have earned A grades, with Hull KR sixth on 15.52, and Hull FC seventh on 15.05 – just above the threshold of 15 points required to be graded A.
17 clubs have been awarded a Grade B score – including Toulouse, who are the highest-performing non-Super League club. They scored 12.97 and sit 10th in the initial rankings, meaning that as things stand, they would take a place in Super League in 2025.
Wakefield Trinity, who were relegated from Super League at the end of this season, also sit inside the top 12 clubs – with Castleford Tigers 13th and outside the Super League placings. After the data submission deadline, Castleford Tigers submitted information that the RFL will review and consider particularly given the tight scoring margins around the 12th position in the rankings. Bradford Bulls are 14th on 12.02: less than half a point below 12th-placed Leigh Leopards.
But the big news is that London’s chances of remaining in Super League beyond next season appear slim. They sit a lowly 24th – below clubs like Doncaster, Barrow and Newcastle, who may not even participate in League 1 next year – meaning they are unlikely to get a place in the top-flight no matter where they finish next season.
The main purpose of the indicative grading process in 2023 is to give clubs a clear indication of their strengths and weaknesses, and the areas in which they need to improve to increase their score in 2024.