IMG have set out three key areas of growth that Rugby League should focus on, in their recommendations for the future of the game.
The three markets identified are France, the women’s game, and London.
IMG have given their backing for the participation of French clubs in the domestic competitions, although there will be an initial cap of two non-British clubs.
Alongside the new ‘grading system’ to be introduced for all clubs, these overseas sides would need to demonstrate their value to have those positions.
They would also be required to have a minimum number of domestic players from that country, to show successful player development.
Overseas clubs will also be expected to subsidise some of the travel costs of visiting UK sides, until the contribution of that market to the central distribution through broadcast deals covers that cost.
Meanwhile IMG have stressed a commitment to growing the women’s game, which currently is effectively amateur at domestic level.
The other area identified as ripe for growth is London, which has had a tumultuous four decades of professional involvement in the game and currently has no full-time club.
But IMG believe that there is sufficient interest in the game, and active involvement at a local level, for the capital to have strong potential.