Leeds handed tough start to Super League defence

The new Super League season will kick-off on Thursday February 1 when reigning champions Leeds Rhinos take on Warrington Wolves at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The 2017 Grand Final winners will be hoping to start the defence of their title with an away win, whilst new Warrington coach Steve Price will be eager to impress the home crowd when taking charge of his first ever game in the competition.

2017 League Leaders’ Shield Winners Castleford Tigers will open their 2018 campaign the following night, when they travel to face St Helens at The Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday February 2. Both games will be shown live on Sky Sports, who will be broadcasting nearly 100 games throughout the 2018 Rugby League season.

Both Hull clubs will begin the season at home, with Hull FC beginning their 2018 campaign at home against Huddersfield Giants and neighbours Hull Kingston Rovers taking on Wakefield Trinity in their first Super League game since promotion from the Championship.

Round two of the competition will see Wigan Warriors and Hull FC take Super League on the road to Australia for the first ever time, when they will play at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Sydney.

The highly anticipated Easter weekend will start with a local derby between Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers on Thursday March 29. The Hull derby and St Helens v Wigan Warriors will provide plenty of entertainment on Good Friday with Leeds Rhinos taking on Salford Red Devils and Widnes Vikings taking on neighbours St Helens on Easter Monday.

Rugby Football League Chief Commercial Officer and Super League Executive Director, Roger Draper, said: “2017 was a fantastic season with some of the most exciting action on the pitch I’ve ever seen. Super League also had an incredibly successful year off the field with commercial revenue up by 19% and more than 1.75 million tickets sold to Super League fixtures throughout the year, culminating in a brilliant sell-out Betfred Super League Grand Final.

“We believe that next season promises to be one of the most exciting ever, with plenty for Rugby League supporters to look forward to. The Dacia Magic Weekend returns to Newcastle for the fourth consecutive year, we have a first ever Super League game in Australia and we welcome back Hull Kingston Rovers to the competition following their promotion from the Championship.

“We also have the new free Our League membership, which has attracted more than 25,000 members in the first two weeks since its launch. It will give fans exclusive news, offers, insight and stats from all Super League games and we hope they enjoy the additional benefits that the membership brings.”

Sky Sports will continue to show two games a week and following feedback from supporters, media and clubs, there will now be an earlier kick-off time of 7.45pm for all televised Thursday and Friday night matches.

The full fixture list can be seen by clicking here.