5 reasons to be optimistic for rugby league in 2024

5 reasons to be optimistic for rugby league in 2024

As 2023 draws to a close and the new year’s almost upon us, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why rugby league should be positive about the next 12 months…

1. 11 clubs have announced an increase in season ticket sales…and there’s still 7 weeks to kick-off

This is great news to be finishing the year off with, and I’m sure more clubs will be making announcements in the next few weeks.

What’s most encouraging to me from the 11 clubs named, is the variety of them. The likes of Leigh and Hull KR are clearly building on the back of positive seasons, but for a club like Castleford Tigers who had a very poor 2023, it’s amazing to see an increase.

And a special hats off to Wakefield, who have sold 5,000 season tickets already, despite being relegated!

2. Every Super League game will be shown live on TV

Exactly how this will work is unclear, but I can only see positives from this announcement, as long as the games are easy to find and not stuck behind some kind of subscription service like OurLeague.

Having every game on TV will undoubtedly pick up a few new casual fans, and as the increased season ticket sales have shown, it’s not going to stop people wanting to go to games.

WIGAN, UK:   Jack Welsby of England gives a thumbs up during the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between England and Papua New Guinea at the DW Stadium, Wigan, on Saturday 5th November 2022. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

3. Jack Welsby’s staying in Super League

Putting your club allegiances to one side for a moment, the fact that one of the competition’s best players has signed a new long-term contract is fantastic news for rugby league in this country.

If the game’s ever going to grow in the UK, then we need to keep our best players, and although I think he’ll eventually head down under, knowing that he’s locked in for the forseeable future is great news…even if I don’t support Saints.

4. Newcastle Thunder are back in League One

When Newcastle folded at the end of the season, it felt like a nail in the coffin for expansion in the North East, especially with Magic Weekend not taking place in the city in 2024 either.

So, what wonderful news just before Christmas to find out that Thunder are back in the pro ranks. There’s a long way to go before they could potentially find themselves in Super League, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

5. The WCC is on course for a sell-out

More than 15,000 tickets had been sold at last count, and all in the space of a week! If you haven’t got a ticket yet, then don’t hang around as this will almost certainly sell out.

This Penrith Panthers team are up there with the all-time greats, and even if you’re not a Wigan fan, then get yourself a ticket and cheer on the Aussies. Either way, this game could end up being a classic.

Darren Notley

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