At today’s RFL launch event, held at Huddersfield Town Hall as the sport celebrates 125 years since its foundation as the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 at Huddersfield’s George Hotel, it was confirmed that the Super League pathway remains for 2020 but with a tweak.
Whereas last season saw the higher placed team always have home advantage in the play-offs, giving eventual Million Pound Game winners Toronto Wolfpack the benefit of playing all matches in Canada, that is now not going to be the case with the lower ranked teams able to earn home advantage by defeating higher placed opposition in the play-offs. This means that the winners of the major semi-final in round two of the play-offs will earn home advantage in the Grand Final two weeks later – while the losers of that semi-final will have home advantage in the Preliminary Final the following weekend.
Sky Sports have confirmed that they will be screening the Betfred Championship play-offs once again.
That system will also be in play in Betfred League One where the teams finishing between 2nd and 6th will take part in the play-offs with the league winners earning automatic promotion.
The RFL have also confirmed that the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will take place prior to the Coral Challenge Cup final. Last season saw Sheffield Eagles defeat Widnes Vikings in the contest but it was played following the showpiece occasion, a move which displeased the majority of fans. Of the decision, Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said “we’ve also listened to the views of clubs and supporters in working to change the kick-off time of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup. We’re grateful for the co-operation of Wembley Stadium in allowing us to bring the kick-off forward, and we hope that change will be welcomed – and ensure a suitable atmosphere in the stadium when the winners receive their trophy.”