Super League: Prize money for finishing top doubled

St Helens' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook helped St Helens finish top of the regular-season table last year

Prize money for the regular-season leaders of rugby league's Super League is being doubled for 2015.

St Helens won £50,000 for finishing top of the table in 2014 before going on to win the Grand Final at Old Trafford.

The first winners of the league leaders' shield under this season's new structure, will receive £100,000.

"The clubs wanted to make sure it meant a little bit more than in the past," Super League general manager Blake Solly said.

"One way was to give the leaders automatic qualification for the World Club Series and the other was to double the prize money. They felt good form over a 30-week season deserves to be recognised."

The season starts on Thursday when Wigan, who were beaten 14-6 in the Grand Final in October, visit Widnes.

Warriors coach Shaun Wane believes this year's structure, where only the top four teams - rather than the top eight of previous seasons - can win the Grand Final, will lead to more intense encounters.

"This new competition is going to make the games a lot more exciting," he said. "The league leaders is a very important competition now so we can't afford any slip-ups."

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