|League Leaders' Shield|
|Country|| England |
|Presented by||Super League|
|Most wins||St. Helens (8 titles)|
|Most recent|| Catalans Dragons |
The League Leaders' Shield [ citation needed ]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 Super League's comparatively short history) the championship is ultimately decided on the basis of a play-off series, and the Shield is thus often regarded as a lesser prize. However, 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 1996, Super League was formed but continued to use first past the post to decide the champions until 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. The mascot for the game was Seth Johnson celebrating his 9th birthday in style.
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.
In 2021, Catalans Dragons finished top for the first time in their 21 year history and became the eighth team to win the shield and also the first non-English team to win it.
The League Leaders' Shield was first awarded in 2003; between 1998 and 2002 the league leaders were not awarded any trophy. In 1996 and 1997 the League Leaders were declared champions as the Grand Final was not introduced until 1998.
|Year||League leaders||Pts||Runners up||Pts|
|1996||St Helens||40||Wigan Warriors||39|
|1997||Bradford Bulls||40||London Broncos||33|
|1998||Wigan Warriors||42||Leeds Rhinos||38|
|1999||Bradford Bulls||51||St Helens||46|
|2000||Wigan Warriors||49||St Helens||46|
|2001||Bradford Bulls||45||Wigan Warriors||45|
|2002||St. Helens||46||Bradford Bulls||46|
|2003||Bradford Bulls||44||Leeds Rhinos||41|
|2004||Leeds Rhinos||50||Bradford Bulls||41|
|2005||St. Helens||47||Leeds Rhinos||44|
|2006||St. Helens||48||Hull F.C.||40|
|2007||St. Helens||38||Leeds Rhinos||37|
|2008||St. Helens||43||Leeds Rhinos||42|
|2009||Leeds Rhinos||42||St Helens||38|
|2010||Wigan Warriors||44||St Helens||40|
|2011||Warrington Wolves||44||Wigan Warriors||43|
|2012||Wigan Warriors||42||Warrington Wolves||41|
|2013||Huddersfield Giants||42||Warrington Wolves||41|
|2014||St. Helens||38||Wigan Warriors||37|
|2015||Leeds Rhinos||41||Wigan Warriors||41|
|2016||Warrington Wolves||43||Wigan Warriors||42|
|2017||Castleford Tigers||50||Leeds Rhinos||40|
|2018||St. Helens||42||Wigan Warriors||32|
|2019||St. Helens||52||Wigan Warriors||36|
|2020||Wigan Warriors||76.47a||St. Helens||70.59a|
|2021||Catalans Dragons||82.61a||St. Helens||76.19a|
|1||St. Helens||9||6||1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2018, 2019|
|2||Wigan Warriors||5||8||1998, 2000, 2010, 2012, 2020|
|3||Bradford Bulls||4||2||1997, 1999, 2001, 2003|
|4||Leeds Rhinos||3||6||2004, 2009, 2015|
|5||Warrington Wolves||2||2||2011, 2016|
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.
|1||Wigan Warriors||3||1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95|
|2||Huddersfield Giants||2||1912–13, 1914–15|
|3||St. Helens||2||1965–66, 2006|
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