Rugby League Premiership


Rugby League Premiership

The Rugby League Premiership was a competition for British rugby league clubs that operated between 1973 and 1995. As the Super League Premiership the competition continued to operate until 1997.

From 1909 until 1973 (except for the period 1962-64) the Rugby League Championship had utilised a play-off format to determine the overall league champions. For the 1973-74 season the league was split into two divisions, and a play-off system was no longer used. In order to maintain interest towards the end of the season a new competition, the "Club Championship", was introduced to replace the championship play-offs. The Harry Sunderland Trophy, which had until then been awarded to the man-of-the-match in the championship final, would instead be awarded to the man-of-the-match in the premiership final.

The first season saw 16 teams take part: the top 12 of the first division and the top four from the second division. The following season saw the title change to "Premiership", and the format was altered so that only the top eight teams in the first division would compete. A similar competition was later instituted for clubs in the lower league(s). The Premiership continued to be played in this fashion until 1995-96, at the time of the switch to a summer sport, when the competition was abandoned to allow the 1996 Super League season to commence in the spring.

A top-four play-off leading to a final, the Super League Premiership, was instituted as part of the Super League competition. In 1998 this was replaced by a return to a play-off for the championships, with the Harry Sunderland Trophy being the award for the Grand Final's man-of-the-match.

Premiership winners

"For completeness, this table includes premiership winners from the Super League era."

SeasonWinnersScoreRunners-up
1974-75Leeds26-11St Helens
1975-76St Helens15-2Salford
1976-77St Helens32-20Warrington
1977-78Bradford Northern17-8Widnes
1978-79Leeds24-2Bradford Northern
1979-80Widnes19-5Bradford Northern
1980-81Hull Kingston Rovers11-7Hull
1981-82Widnes23-8Hull
1982-83Widnes22-10Hull
1983-84Hull Kingston Rovers18-10Castleford
1984-85St Helens36-16Hull Kingston Rovers
1985-86Warrington38-10Halifax
1986-87Wigan8-0Warrington
1987-88Widnes38-14St Helens
1988-89Widnes18-10Hull
1989-90Widnes28-6Bradford Northern
1990-91Hull14-4Widnes
1991-92Wigan48-16St Helens
1992-93St Helens10-4Wigan
1993-94Wigan24-20Castleford
1994-95Wigan69-24Leeds
1995-96"No Competition"
1996Wigan Warriors44-14St Helens
1997Wigan Warriors33-20St Helens

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