Once Valentine’s Day is out of the way, rugby league enthusiasts and romanticists will be able to watch and enjoy probably one of the biggest things they are in love with the most: the British Super League.
Starting with fixtures on February 15, the league returns for its 2024 season, with a local derby between fierce neighbours Hull FC and Hull KR taking place. The games will then come thick and fast, as there are a total of 27 rounds to be played to determine who qualifies for the opportunity to play in the Grand Final and be crowned the champions.
Unsurprisingly, there has already been a lot of talk about who that could be, with bookies already providing punters with their odds of who they believe will reign supreme. Those who bet with bet365 will already know that they will be afforded a number of competitive opportunities and markets they can use throughout the rugby league season, including on the favourites market.
According to the sportsbook, last year’s champions, Wigan Warriors, are the favourites to repeat, as they are priced at 15/8 ahead of the campaign. Their rivals, the St. Helens Saints, are the next most likely to win (11/4), with the Warrington Wolves as the third favourites at 7/1 as they are just ahead of Leeds Rhinos (8/1).
What makes Wigan Warriors the favourites again?
As mentioned, the Wigan Warriors were last year’s champions, as they managed to defeat the Catalan Dragons 10-2 in the Grand Final. In doing so, it became their 6th Super League title and their 23rd overall. They are the most successful in rugby league history but are behind St Helens in terms of Super League titles, as they have 10.
They are favourites to repeat last season’s success due to the recruitment that has been done over the winter. The club will hope to get the best out of Tyler Dupree as he will play in his first full season for the team following his mid-season move last term from Salford.
They have also added front-rower Luke Thompson as he returns to the Super League after a four-year stint in Australia’s NRL playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs. The list of impressive recruits does not end there, though, as they have also added Kruise Leeming (from NRL’s Gold Coast Titans), Tiaki Chan (Catalan Dragons), Sam Eseh (Wakefield Trinity), and Sam Walters (Leeds Rhinos).
These players will add even more talent to a squad that boasts Liam Farrell, Kaide Ellis and Mike Cooper, while the production line at the club in terms of its academy is also among one of the very best in the Super League.
Wigan’s talented squad should be able to see off most of their 11 opponents in this year’s Super League and help them achieve an automatic berth to the semi-finals. It would be a surprise if they were not to finish in the top two positions and require a place in the Eliminators, or worse, miss out entirely in their quest to retain their title.