IT’S the time of year when friendlies come in thick and fast and this weekend there are a number of mouthwatering ties to get stuck into.
It all begins on Friday night when Featherstone Rovers take on Hull KR at the Millennium Stadium as Sean Long’s men do battle with Willie Peters’ side.
This will be Peters’ first game in charge of the Robins, so it will be interesting to see how KR do against a Featherstone side aiming for promotion from the Championship in 2023.
There are no games on Saturday, but there are four fixtures on Sunday with the most eye-catching fixture that of Leigh Leopards and the Leeds Rhinos who go head to head on Sunday afternoon at the Leigh Sports Village.
The two sides will be competing for the Bev Risman trophy – an incredibly talented player who made his name for both clubs in rugby league and who was awarded an OBE in 2012.
Elsewhere, Keighley Cougars host the Castleford Tigers in Jake Webster’s testimonial game. Webster, of course, enjoyed a number of brilliant years at the Jungle, winning the League Leaders’ Shield back in 2017.
Sheffield Eagles also host Hull FC in a traditional friendly between the two sides as Tony Smith gets his first look at his new side following his move at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Mark Aston will be hoping for a better year in 2023.
And the final game of Sunday sees Wigan Warriors travel to Whitehaven with Matt Peet’s men hoping for some momentum heading into the new season.
The fixtures in full are:
Friday, January 20: Featherstone Rovers vs Hull Kingston Rovers (7.45pm)
Sunday, January 22: Leigh Leopards vs Leeds Rhinos (3pm)
Keighley Cougars vs Castleford Tigers (3pm)
Sheffield Eagles vs Hull FC (3pm)
Whitehaven vs Wigan Warriors (3pm)