The new rugby league season is just around the corner. Squads have been back in training for weeks, adapting to new coaches, teammates and coming together to try and find a way to finally stop the 4-peat Saints from their continuous dominance. There’s nothing better than a pre-season prediction. A time where everyone is on the same playing field: 0 points, 0 tries and all the expectations to succeed.
The 2023 Super League season has the potential to be one of the most competitive, exciting and surprising campaigns to date. While many expect Saints to continue and grow even stronger, a lot of clubs fancy their chances to put a stop to their success and put a new name on the League Leaders and Super League trophy come seasons end.
Here’s how I see the table will look come Monday 25th September, after the final round (27) of fixtures.
1st – Wigan WarriorsEmbed from Getty Images
This will be a defining year for Matty Peet and the Warriors. I, like many see the Warriors as the only true threat to Saints this year. That is mainly down to the outstanding pairing of Bevan French and Jai Field. The squad is another year wiser and stronger in the attacking flanks with Jake Wardle and Toby King. Their quality in depth is my only concern for them going into 2023. Injuries could wreak havoc on their success.
2nd – St Helens
You’d be a brave or stupid person to bet against Saints making even more history and going 5-peat this season. They are and have been the strongest and best squad in the league for a good few years now. One major change could be the difference this season, and that’s the coach. Paul Wellens will of course want to add his own mark on the team. It may hinder them early, if that impacts their style too much. It depends how quickly they adapt.
3rd – Huddersfield GiantsEmbed from Getty Images
Huddersfield are one of a few sides that could really push for that League Leaders Shield in 2023. Ken Davy has arguably the strongest squad at his disposal since becoming Chairman in 1996. They’ve made some real shrewd attacking signings, with Jake Connor being the stand out. He will improve their points tally and make them more of a threat in the final third. One thing they lacked in 2022.
4th – Leeds Rhinos
It doesn’t seem long ago when Leeds Rhinos where stuck in a rut of bad season after bad season, with no sight of becoming a serious contender again. This just shows what an incredible impact Rohan Smith has had at Headingley. Their finish to the 2022 season was superb. They lost just one game in their final eight league games, got to the grand final where it was just one game too far against Saints. I would tip against them going one further in 2023.
5th – Salford Red Devils
I’ve maybe done Salford some disservice here. Their squad has only become stronger from their impressive 2022 season. They have recruited well, while also keeping hold of their top talents. They have tasted the grand final as a club, and they look a side who wants to maintain that level of quality and solidify themselves as a top club. It could be another strong season for Paul Rowley and co.
6th – Warrington WolvesEmbed from Getty Images
The 2022 season couldn’t have been much worse for Warrington. An 11th placed finish, their worst effort since finishing ninth in 2017. They had a new manager, new star players and it didn’t click at all. They were one of the easiest teams to play against and always seemed beatable. Their new signings for 2023 are crucial, as will George Williams and his form. I think they push hard for the play offs.
7th – Catalan Dragons
I struggled with Catalan as they could easily place further down the table. They are going into a translation period with a few players departing and new ones coming in, with more to follow. But, their squad, as mismatched as it may be, does still have flicker of quality, enough to still go well in 2023. Their home form may have them above a few others who are in the same bracket as them.
8th – Hull FCEmbed from Getty Images
If you’d have asked me at the end of last season, I’d honestly have Hull FC in the bottom three. While the loss of Connor was needed, the rest of the squad just isn’t good or strong enough to mount a push for play offs. However, appointing Tony Smith and with a rather promising spine of Jake Clifford, Tex Hoy and Jake Trueman, they could upset a few.
9th – Castleford Tigers
The Tigers seems to be in a bit of a limbo this season. I don’t think they’ve recruited well enough to mark a real playoff push. They just missed out on the playoffs in 2021 and 2022, and I don’t feel like they’ve strengthened enough to go one further. If anything, they’ll take one step backwards in 2023. They’re good at home, and they’ll need to rely on that this year for a good points tally.
10th – Hull KR
Similar to Castleford, the Robins will need to rely on their half decent home form to keep them away from the foot of the table. The loss of Tony Smith was huge for them. He was key to their revival and strong 2021 season. They missed that cutting edge in the second half of 2022 after he left. But if the returning Jordan Abdul and Mikey Lewis hit the ground running, it could be a different story for KR.
11th – Leigh Leopards
2023 is huge for Leigh. They have a lot of new signings, and there’s a lot of excitement around their fan base that this Super League run could be their best yet. It’s going to take time for the new boys to gel into the squad and truly make their mark on the league. They have enough and more quality than the likes of Wakefield to stay up, and I think if they do, it could be the start of an interesting period for the newly named Leopards.
12th – Wakefield TrinityEmbed from Getty Images
While I’ve got Trinity rock bottom, they could quite easily prove me wrong. They’ve made a few decent signings and while I’m unsure on the new coach setup, they had better home form than Warrington last year. It’s hard to predict a bottom club, as I truly feel this season could be the most competitive to date, and I would argue that Wakey have the weakest squad of the 12 teams.
No doubt all twelve teams will finish in completely different positions but, that’s the fun with predictions.
It’ll be great to hear what you all think of the upcoming season and even more great if anyone out there agrees with mine.