SUPER League and the RFL have approved sweeping changes to the way fixtures and the league table are structured in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The table will now be determined by points percentage to acknowledge the possibility that not all clubs will be able to play the same number of matches.

To qualify for the top four play-offs, a team must have played a minimum of 15 matches.

The changes have had an immediate effect on the table, with Catalans Dragons moving top of the table with a win percentage of 71.43 per cent.

Warrington Wolves have dropped down to third with a 70 per cent win rate.

This stipulation will be reviewed, and could be amended, by the RFL Board if four or more clubs do not complete 15 matches

The threshold for postponement of a fixture will be the non-availability of seven or more of a club’s top 25 players (on salary cap value) for Covid-related reasons – including Test and Trace. (Clubs can still choose to play fixtures in these circumstances)

Following any postponement, the first option will be to rearrange the fixture for one of a number of possible windows (Additional Match Slots) for rearranged fixtures that have been identified – these slots are listed below.

September 17/20 (for clubs not in the Coral Challenge Cup Quarter Finals)

October 3 (for clubs not in the Coral Challenge Cup Semi Finals)

October 18/19 (for clubs not in the Coral Challenge Cup Final)

November 1/2

To recognise the possible strains on clubs’ playing squads through the combination of positive Covid-19 tests, Test and Trace, and the number of fixtures to be played, two adjustments have been made to the Salary Cap regulations for the 2020 season only:

1 – Clubs can play any player on their register (including players recalled from loan to other clubs) without impacting their Salary Cap, provided the player has a Salary Cap value of £30,000 or less;

2 – If a player who has tested positive for Covid-19 is unable to return after the minimum isolation / return to play periods, their Salary Cap value will be temporarily removed from a club’s Aggregate Liability – allowing the club to sign a replacement.

Simon Johnson, the RFL Chair, said: “As a Board, we recognise the unique challenges this season has presented – and the need for flexibility and creativity in response.

"It has been an immense logistical effort for all to get the Betfred Super League season up and running – we congratulate all involved, especially the players, and we know that our supporters are enjoying the opportunity to follow regular Super League rugby, whether on Sky Sports, the BBC or the Our League app.

“Like other sports before us, and doubtless others to come, we have to recognise that this is not going to be a normal season.

"A number of fixtures have already been postponed, affecting some clubs more than others, and we have to allow for the possibility of that pattern continuing.

“These decisions, regarding the rearrangement of fixtures, amendments to the salary cap, and most significantly a new way of determining the league positions, are a realistic and sensible response to those issues – and we hope they will be welcomed by players, coaches, supporters and other stakeholders in that manner.

“The whole sport is doing everything in its power to deliver a Betfred Super League Grand Final later this year that will see the crowning of our 2020 Champions.”