League Leaders' Shield

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League Leaders' Shield
Country  England
Presented by Super League
First award 1998
Most wins Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (7 titles)
Most recent Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (7th title)

The League Leaders' Shield[1] 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.[citation needed]


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 1996, Super League was formed but continued to use first past the post to decide the champions unitil 1998 when they adopted a play-off structure for the championship. The League Leaders' Shield, however, 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.

In 2015, it was announced that the League Leaders would qualify to take part in the expanded World Club Challenge and the prize money would raise from £50,000 to £100,000. In 2016, the League Leaders were awarded medals for the first time.

In 2017, Castleford Tigers finished top of the league for the first time in their 91 year history and became the seventh team in as many years to win the shield.

Qualification for World Club Series[edit]

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 winners[edit]

The League Leaders' Shield was first awarded in 2003; between 1998 and 2002 the league leaders were not awarded any trophy.

Year League leaders Pts Runners up Pts
1998 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 42 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 38
1999 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 51 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 46
2000 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 49 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 46
2001 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 45 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 45
2002 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 46 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 46
2003 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 44 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 41
2004 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 50 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 41
2005 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 47 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 44
2006 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 48 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 40
2007 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 38 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 37
2008 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 43 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 42
2009 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 42 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 38
2010 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 44 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 40
2011 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 44 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 43
2012 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 42 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 41
2013 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 42 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 41
2014 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 38 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 37
2015 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 41 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 41
2016 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 43 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 42
2017 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 50 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 40
2018 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 52 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 46


Club Wins Runners-up Winning years
1 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 7 4 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2018
2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 4 6 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012
3 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 4 2 1999, 2001, 2003
4 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 3 6 2004, 2009, 2015
5 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 2 2 2011, 2016
6 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 1 0 2013
7 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 1 0 2017
8 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 0 1 N/A

The Treble[edit]

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 and Leeds Rhinos have won the treble in the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 3 1991-92, 1993–94, 1994–95
2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 2 1912-13, 1914–15
3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 2 1965-66, 2006
4 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Lions 1 1927-28
5 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 1 2003
6 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 1 2015

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Andy (2009-07-16). "Battle for Super League play-offs can pull in the fans". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.

External links[edit]