After the hugely successful Rugby League World Cup in England, the attention turns back to Super League ahead of the 2023 campaign.
The upcoming campaign will be the 28th Super League season, and it will be St Helens that will defend their title after another Grand Final success, with the Leeds Rhinos losing in the final at Old Trafford.
|What||Super League XXVIII|
|When||16th February 2023 - 14th October 2023|
|How to watch||Channel 4, Sky Sports|
|Odds||St Helens 15/8, Wigan 10/3, Leeds Rhinos 13/2, Catalans Dragons 7/1|
Super League started in 1996, with 12 founding teams moving the sport from a winter to a summer sport.
Only five of those teams remain in the competition today, with Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, and Wigan Warriors all still fighting it out at the highest level.
Sadly, Bradford Bulls, Halifax Blue Sox, London Broncos, Oldham Bears, Paris Saint-Germain, Sheffield Eagles, and Workington Town have either dropped down the leagues or, in PSG's case, dissolved.
Plenty of teams have come and gone and tried their luck in Super League, and it still remains the pinnacle of the 13-man code in the northern hemisphere.
The regular season in 2023 will see each side play 27 fixtures - 13 home and 13 away, while they will also play at Magic Weekend at St James' Park in Newcastle.
At the end of the regular season, the Play-Off series will group the top-six ranked teams together to fight it out to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Relegation was scrapped from the top tier after the RFL's strategic partner recommended a new plan to try and improve the game.
|Club||Number of Super League titles||Winning Years|
|St Helens||10||1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022|
|Leeds Rhinos||8||2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017|
|Wigan Warriors||5||1998, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018|
|Bradford Bulls||4||1997, 2001, 2003, 2005|
St Helens are Super League's most successful team, with the Merseyside club winning the title on no fewer than ten occasions.
Saints first won the title in 1996, before then getting their hands on the trophy in back-to-back years in 1999 and 2000.
Their fans celebrated twice more before 2010, as they lifted the famous trophy in 2002 and 2006. After only winning the competition once between 2010 and 2018, when they beat Wigan Warriors 14-6, Saints fans will have started to panic as their rivals began to reduce their dominance.
However, they have dominated the English game since 2019, winning four straight Grand Finals in Super League.
In 2019, St Helens beat Salford 23-6 in the final in what was coach Justin Holbrook's final game in charge.
He failed to lose a single home game all season before Kristian Woolf took the reins at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Woolf won all three Grand Finals that he led St Helens to, with their 24-12 victory over Leeds Rhinos his final game in charge before returning to Australia to coach in the NRL.
St Helens have added Tee Ritson and Wesley Bruines to their squad for 2023, and while the likes of Regan Grace, Kyle Amor and Aaron Smith have moved on, they look like the team to beat at in the Grand Final outright market.
Former Saints full-back Paul Wellens will now lead the club going forward, and he will know exactly what is required at the club, having spent his entire career with St Helens since 1998.
The new season gets underway on Thursday 16th February, when Warrington Wolves host 2022's beaten finalists, Leeds Rhinos.
The Wire failed to impress in 2022 under Daryl Powell, and the opening fixture promises to be a cracker.
One day later, newly-promoted and newly re-named Leigh Leopards welcome Salford Red Devils to the Leigh Sports Village.
As per usual, Easter Weekend is set for a bumper round of fixtures as "Rivals Round" takes centre stage. For the first time ever, all six games that weekend will be broadcast by Sky Sports.
Castleford will face Wakefield Trinity in the opener on Thursday 6th April, and organisers will hope the action can live up to the hype.
Magic Weekend will return in 2023, and all Super League teams will descend on Newcastle on 3rd & 4th June.
The playoffs will feature the top-six teams in the table, while the season will reach its climax on Saturday 14th October, for the Grand Final.
St Helens will also take a break at the start of the season to take part in the World Club Challenge as they prepare to play NRL champions Penrith Panthers at the BlueBet Stadium in Australia.
Channel 4 and Sky Sports will share broadcasting rights throughout the campaign.
As Super League's long-term broadcasting partner, Sky Sports will show 66 games throughout the season, while Channel 4 viewers can watch up to ten matches.
The likes of Leeds Rhinos, who are 13/2 to win the Grand Final, and Catalans Dragons, available at , will try to compete with the two early front runners, with St Helens and Wigan Warriors expected to fight it out for the title.
With organisers making recent changes to relegation and promotion, fans will hope they have found the right balance ahead of the 2023 season.
The three World Cups proved how successful and entertaining the sport can be and we will soon find out if Super League can follow suit.