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Million Pound Game
Current season or competition:
2019 RFL Championship
SportRugby league
Instituted2015
Number of teams2
Country England Canada (RFL)
Holders
Toronto Wolfpack (1st title)
Most titlesfive-way tie (1 title)
Broadcast partnerSky Sports
BBC Sport (Highlights)

Million Pound Game (stylized as £1M Game) is an annual playoff final rugby league game that decides which Championship team will be promoted to Super League the following season. Between 2015 and 2018, the game was played as part of The Qualifiers until the 2019 league restructure when it became the final of the top 5 playoff series.

History

It was proposed in 2014 and instigated in 2015, with the restructuring of the Rugby League season by the Rugby Football League.[1]

At an RFL extraordinary general meeting in 2018, the clubs voted to scrap the Super 8s and revert to a one up one down system between Super league and the Championship as used previously.[2] The Championship clubs voted to bring back the playoffs as a way to decide who gets promoted. A top 5 playoff system was decided to be the best format as it had previously been used between 2003 and 2007, the final being called the Championship play-off final and billed as the Million Pound Game.[3]

Format

2003–2014: Championship Grand Final

Main article: Championship Grand Final

2015–2018: The Qualifiers

At the end of the regular season, the bottom 4 teams in the Super League played the top four teams in the Championship in a league of eight. The top three teams were awarded a place in Super League whilst teams finishing fourth and fifth play each other for the final Super League place in a game called the Million Pound Game.

2019–present: Playoffs

For the 2019 season, the Super 8s were scrapped and it was decided a playoff series would be used to decide promotion to Super League. The top 5 Championship teams would compete in the playoffs with the Million Pound Game final being held at the home of the highest seeded team.

Results

Year Winner Score Runner up Venue Attendance
2015
Wakefield Trinity
24–16
Bradford Bulls
Belle Vue 7,236
2016
Salford Red Devils
19–18
Hull Kingston Rovers
Craven Park 6,562
2017
Catalans Dragons
26–10
Leigh Centurions
Leigh Sports Village 6,888
2018
London Broncos
4–2
Toronto Wolfpack
Lamport Stadium 9,246
2019
Toronto Wolfpack
24–6
Featherstone Rovers
Lamport Stadium 9,974

Winners

Club Wins Last win Runners-up Last final lost
1
Wakefield Trinity
1 2015 0 N/A
2
Salford Red Devils
1 2016 0 N/A
3
Catalans Dragons
1 2017 0 N/A
4
London Broncos
1 2018 0 N/A
5
Toronto Wolfpack
1 2019 1 2018
6
Leigh Centurions
0 N/A 1 2017
7
Hull Kingston Rovers
0 N/A 1 2016
8
Bradford Bulls
0 N/A 1 2015
9
Featherstone Rovers
0 N/A 1 2019

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.lindependant.fr/2014/07/25/rugby-a-xiii-la-nouvelle-organisation-de-la-super-league-devoilee,1911514.php
  2. ^ "Super League decides to scrap controversial Super 8 format". The Guardian. 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ "2019 Structure". Rugby Football League. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2019.