Super League (Europe)


Super League (Europe)

Infobox rugby league cup
name=Super League
current_season=Super League XIII

pixels=120px
founded=1996
teams=12 (14 in 2009)
country=ENG
FRA
WAL (2009)
champions= Leeds Rhinos
season=2008
website= [http://www.superleague.co.uk/ superleague.co.uk]

Super League is a full-time professional rugby league club competition operating in the northern hemisphere. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League.

Super League (Europe) (SLE) began in March 1996 and saw the English season switch from winter to summer for the first time in over 100 years. Most of the teams are based in Great Britain, though initially the league was intended to be European, and indeed French club Paris Saint Germain contested the first ever Super League match. Following their departure in 1997, the league was solely English until Catalans Dragons were admitted for the 2006 season. In 2009, the Celtic Crusaders, from Wales, will enter the competition.

During the league's regular season, each team plays 27 games over 27 rounds from February to September. At the end of the regular season, the top six teams in Super League play in the playoffs, which culminates with the Grand Final.

Each year the competition winners play a game against the premiers of the Australasian National Rugby League competition in the World Club Challenge.

Teams

The map below indicates the locations of teams currently competing in Super League.

Trophies and Awards

The League Leader's Shield is a trophy awarded to the team finishing the season top of Super League which is also known as a minor premiership. League Leader's Shield was introduced only in 2003, previously no prize was awarded to the team finishing top.

The winner of the Grand Final is given the engage Super League Trophy. This is considered more prestigious than a minor premiership since this team becomes the Super League Champions.

The Man of Steel Award is an annual award for the best player of the season in Super League. It has continued from pre-Super League times, with the first such award given in 1977.

Each season a Super League Dream Team is also named. The best thirteen players in their respective positions are voted for by members of the sports press.

Television coverage

Sky has the rights to show live Super League games in the UK; two live matches are broadcast each week - one on Friday Night at 7:30pm and another at 6pm on Saturdays. Regular commentators are Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson with summarisers including Phil Clarke, Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor. Live Super League broadcasts regularly rank amongst the top 10 most watched programmes in a week on Sky Sports with in excess of 250,000 viewers.cite web | url=http://www.trilinesports.co.uk/sleague.php | title=Triline Sports | publisher=Triline Sports | author= | date= | accessdate=2007-06-18] . Highlights are shown on Boots N' All which is shown on Sky Sports and is rebroadcast on the Internet.

BBC Sport own the rights to broadcast a highlights package called the Super League Show but choose to only broadcast this to the North West, Yorkshire & North Midlands, North East & Cumbria, and East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire regions. It can also be viewed over the internet or downloaded using BBC iPlayer in the UK. End of season play-offs are shown across the whole country in a highlights package. However, coverage will be extended from the 17th of February 2008 in the form of a repeat of the show on Sunday nights which will be available across all parts of the country. BBC Director of Sport Richard Moseley said that this move was in response to the growing popularity and awareness of the sport, and the large number of requests from people who want to want to watch it elsewhere in the UK.

Sport+ in France show every Catalans Dragons home match Live and also Live or Delayed Coverage of Catalans away matches that have been shown in the UK Live on Sky.

Internationally Super League is shown Live on Showtime Sports (Middle East), Sky Sport (New Zealand) and Setanta Sports (USA and Canada) show Super League matches Live or delayed each week whilst FOX Sports Australia show the previous weekends UK televised Matches on Thursday Nights.

ESPN360 has worldwide broadband rights; coverage began with the 2007 Grand Final.

Radio coverage

Super League is covered heavily by BBC Local Radio.

* BBC Radio Manchester cover Wigan, Warrington and St Helens.
* BBC Radio Humberside cover Hull KR and Hull FC.
* BBC Radio Leeds cover Bradford, Leeds, Castleford, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
* BBC Radio Merseyside (AM/DAB only) cover St Helens and Warrington.
* BBC London 94.9 cover Harlequins via online streaming.

Also some commercial stations offer Super League commentary.

* BCB 106.6 (Bradford Community Broadcasting) cover Bradford Bulls Home & Away.
* Radio Aire cover Leeds Rhinos.
* KCFM Hull cover Hull KR and Hull FC.
* Radio Worm (Warrington Online Radio Media) covers every Warrington Home Match (Online Only).
* Radio Marseillette covers every Catalans Dragons Home Match (In French).
* Radio France Bleu Roussillon covers every Catalans Dragons Away Match (In French).

All Super League commentaries on any station are available via the particular stations online streaming.

Teams that have played in the Super League

* Bradford Bulls
* Castleford Tigers
* Catalans Dragons flagicon|France
* Gateshead Thunder
* Halifax Blue Sox
* Harlequins RL (formerly London Broncos)
* Huddersfield Giants
* Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants
* Hull SharksWho merged with Gateshead Thunder to save their place in Super League
* Hull FC
* Hull KR
* Leeds Rhinos
* Leigh Centurions
* Oldham Bears
* Paris Saint Germain flagicon|France
* Salford City Reds
* Sheffield Eagles
* St Helens
* Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
* Warrington Wolves
* Widnes Vikings
* Wigan Warriors
* Workington Town

ee also

* Super League Records
* Super League war
* British rugby league system‎
* Rugby League Challenge Cup
* World Club Challenge
* Rugby League National Leagues
* List of sports attendance figures
* Super League Dream Team
*

References

Inline

General

*"Super League - the first ten years", Phil Caplan and Jonathan R. Doidge, ISBN 0-7524-3698-8

External links

* [http://www.superleague.co.uk/ superleague.co.uk]
* [http://www.therfl.co.uk/SL/ RFL Super League coverage]
* [http://home.skysports.com/livescores/rugbyleague/ Scores from Sky Sports]
* [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/rugby_league/ The Sun | Super League news, results, fixtures, tables]


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