Lockers backs Super League cut

Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O'Loughlin

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SEAN O’Loughlin has backed the decision to cut Super League to 12 clubs.

The Warriors captain reckons the fact two teams will fall through the trapdoor at the end of this season will drive up competition among struggling clubs.

And the 31-year-old can see the positives of the convoluted new league structure being brought in from 2015.

He said: “I think having 12 teams to start with is an improvement.

“English sport in general is about promotion and relegation, I’m a fan of it.

“I can understand why they brought franchising in, but I don’t think it’s done what it set out to do, so I think they had to go back to promotion and relegation.

“It’s hard to see clubs get relegated, but on the other hand you want to see teams who are doing well in the Championship having something to play for.

“The competition can become stale without it.”

The decision to cut Super League to 12 clubs, and scrap the licensing system in favour of a return to promotion and relegation, have been widely welcomed. But opinion is split on whether the new system from next season will be a smart move.

Two divisions of 12 teams will split into three of eight, two-thirds of the way through the 2015 season.

The top eight in Super League will battle for places in a top-four play-offs, and a chance to reach the Grand Final, with the bottom four joining the top four from the Championship to play each other for the right to compete in the top flight in 2016.

Critics have labelled the plan too complicated, but the RFL hope it will lead to closer matches and more meaningful games. O’Loughlin, speaking at the club’s media afternoon yesterday, said: “With the splitting into eight, we’ll just have to see how it goes. If it goes well, people will love it, if not then they obviously won’t, but I think it’s good that people are trying to change it and improve it.

“I think, rather than jump in and slate it from the off, get behind it and hope it does well.

“With eight splitting off, it at least gives four spots up for grabs for moving up and down.”

Meanwhile, coach Shaun Wane has revealed he has held talks about a new deal.

His existing three-year contract runs out at the end of this season.

“In America I had a chat with Ian (Lenagan, chairman) regarding a long-term contract,” said Wane. “We came to an agreement, nothing was signed, but I’m happy with everything.”