League Leader's Shield
|League Leaders Shield|
|Presented by||Super League|
|Currently held by||Leeds Rhinos (3rd Title)|
|Most awards||St Helens (6 Titles)|
The League Leader’s Shield, sometimes called The Hubcap is a trophy awarded to the team finishing the season top of Super League in the sport of rugby league football. Currently (and for much of its history) the championship is decided on the basis of a play-off series, and the Shield is thus regarded as a lesser prize. Due to it being decided by a 30-game, round-robin league system, some people regard the Shield as the hardest honour to win in British rugby league.
British rugby league has been using a play-off series rather than simply awarding the title to the top-placed team for the majority of its history due to a lop-sided fixture list that saw some clubs play other clubs twice and the rest of the clubs only once. From 1907 until 1973 the Championship was awarded to the team winning a top-four play-off (excluding the 2 seasons 1962–63 and 1963–64, when the championship was awarded to the top placed team). From 1907 to 1962 no prize was awarded to the actual team finishing top. From 1965 to 1973 a 'League Leaders Trophy' was introduced to reward the team finishing top.
In 1973, the Championship was split into two divisions (see Second Division), and a new playoff type competition, the Premiership was introduced. The title of "champion" was awarded not to the Premiership winner but the top-placed team.
With the advent of Super League, rugby league again returned to a play-off structure for the championship. Initially, the practice of awarding no prize to the top-placed team was re-introduced. The League Leader's Shield was introduced only in 2003. In 2013 Huddersfield Giants finished top of the highest league in English rugby league for the first time in 81 years.
Qualification for World Club Series
In 2015 it was announced that the League Leaders would qualify for the 2016 World Club Series. In the event of a team winning both League Leaders Shield and Challenge Cup then the Grand Final runners up would be the second team to qualify for World Club Series.
Shield and Minor Premiership winners
The League Leaders Shield was first awarded in 2003, between 1998 and 2002 the league leaders were the Minor Premierships but were awarded no trophy. The League Leaders of the first 2 Super League seasons were awarded the Super League trophy and crowned the Champions as there was no playoff system before 1998.
- Bold- Between 1996 and 1997 there was no playoff structure to determine the Champions. The Champions were therefore the team which finished top of the league.
|1||St Helens||7||1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014|
|2||Wigan Warriors||4||1998, 2000, 2010, 2012|
|3||Bradford Bulls||4||1997, 1999, 2001, 2003|
|4||Leeds Rhinos||3||2004, 2009, 2015|
- Bold- No playoff structure to determine Champions
The Treble refers to the team who wins all three domestic honours on offer during the season; Grand Final, League Leaders Shield and Challenge Cup. To date six teams have won the treble, and only Bradford Bulls, St Helens RFC & Leeds Rhinos have won the treble in the Super League era.
|1||Wigan Warriors||3||1991-92, 1993-94, 1994-95|
|2||Huddersfield Giants||2||1912-13, 1914–15|
|3||St Helens RFC||2||1965-66, 2006|
- Wilson, Andy (2009-07-16). "Battle for Super League play-offs can pull in the fans". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
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