THE IMG-era of rugby league is upon us and already changes are being felt.
Rugby League Live revealed last week that the ‘Super League Europe’ name could be dropped going forward into the new structure in 2025.
If that does occur then what three names could IMG perhaps conjure up for the new era?
European Rugby League (ERL)
The current complaint about ‘Super League’ is the fact that the name is also prevalent in other sports. Women’s netball and even the botched football attempt at a ‘European Super League’ often come into conversation or Google searches when those two words are used. Keeping the ‘European’ aspect would be the way forward when considering that the Catalans Dragons are a big part of the top flight. But, ‘Rugby League’ needs to be included because at the moment, the title doesn’t actually make it clear about the sport in question.
Rugby League Europe (RLE)
Simple, change the above title around. ‘Super League Europe’ as it stands is simple, replace ‘Super’ with ‘Rugby’ and it’s a perfectly good description of the actual sport. Inputting ‘Rugby League’ at the front of the title rather than at the end emphasises those two words. Keeping ‘Europe’ is again important because it demonstrates that the competition will not just be a UK-based one.
National Rugby League Europe (NRLE)
What brand is the biggest in rugby league? The NRL. Alongside the NRL is the women’s competition – or the NRLW – so why not a European version with NRLE? Of course, there will be critics that suggest it is a surefire way of being lesser than the actual NRL, but it signifies a broader unity within the game itself. For too long both the northern and southern hemispheres have been too detached in their way of thinking and communication – the NRLE could be a bridge between the two competitions going forward.