Hull KR and Hull FC among Grade A clubs as Leeds Rhinos lead way in indicative phase of IMG system
The Rhinos achieved the highest score of 17.49 points, with a maximum of 20 available across five pillars – on-field performance, fandom, finances, stadium and community.
KR rank sixth on 15.52 points with cross-city rivals FC just behind in seventh place with 15.05.
Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves are also above the threshold of 15 points required to be graded A, which guarantees clubs a place in Super League with an exemption from relegation.
The new grading system will come into effect from the end of 2024, giving clubs outside the top 12 places a year to boost their score and force their way in.
The clubs with Grade A status will be joined in Super League in 2025 by the highest-rated Grade B outfits.
As it stands, Castleford Tigers are 13th but the club have claimed it is due to an admin error and that they are appealing.
“On Monday we were given a grading score with just a headline number for the four categories," read a statement from managing director Mark Grattan.
"Each of the categories were as expected, as was the overall grading score. As a result of this, we did not challenge anything ahead of the 1pm deadline on Tuesday 24th October.
"At 7pm yesterday evening, I received a phone call from Tony Sutton, CEO of the RFL to inform me that the RFL had made a mistake on one of the data lines in finance. This meant they were taking half a point off us which moved us down to 13th. At that point, we realised that the finance score was incorrect. Within an hour we spotted a missing data line that we had not submitted.
"I sent all of the supporting evidence to the RFL expecting our error to be amended as the RFL’s error was and we believe other clubs’ scores were amended. We were then informed later yesterday evening that due to the lateness of the information the grades would be published with the RFL’s amendment, but without ours and they would also allow us to appeal and they would be announcing that as part of the grading story.
"We are extremely disappointed with the RFL’s decision as both ourselves and the RFL made an error but the RFL error masked our error on the scores which meant up to 7pm yesterday evening, we believed our score to be correct."
Wakefield Trinity have been given the biggest indication yet that their stay in the second tier will be a short one after earning a place in the top 12.
Trinity rank 11th on 12.52 points – just above Challenge Cup winners Leigh Leopards – and will benefit from a higher stadium score next year due to the recent redevelopment of their Belle Vue home, as well as greater finances under new owner Matt Ellis.
Toulouse Olympique have received a huge boost after missing out on promotion this season, with their score of 12.97 leaving them behind Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants in 10th place.
London Broncos – the team that beat Toulouse in the Championship Grand Final – are set for a one-season stay in Super League.
The capital club are the lowest-ranked Grade B club with a score of 8.07, leaving them way off the pace in 24th spot.
Top 20 clubs as it stands
1: Leeds Rhinos – 17.49
2: Wigan Warriors – 16.87
3: St Helens – 16.78
4: Catalans Dragons – 16.73
5: Warrington Wolves – 15.75
6: Hull KR – 15.52
7: Hull FC – 15.05
8: Salford Red Devils – 13.80
9: Huddersfield Giants – 13.49
10: Toulouse Olympique – 12.97
11: Wakefield Trinity – 12.52
12: Leigh Leopards – 12.45
13: Castleford Tigers – 12.16
14: Bradford Bulls – 12.02
15: Featherstone Rovers – 10.65
16: Widnes Vikings – 10.17
17: York Knights – 10.05
18: Newcastle Thunder – 9.30
19: Barrow Raiders – 9.18
20: Halifax Panthers – 9.06