Super League restart fixtures to be staged at just two venues
The home grounds of Leeds and St Helens will be the only venues in use for the first weeks of the Super League season next month.
Super League has been on hold for four months because of coronavirus but returns from Aug 2 with three games at Headingley, which will welcome all 12 teams for six fixtures behind closed doors the following weekend.
Toronto take on Huddersfield, Castleford play Catalans Dragons and Warrington have been paired with Hull KR on Aug 8, while Salford-Hull, Wakefield-Wigan and a mouthwatering tussle between St Helens and Leeds takes place the following day.
The Totally Wicked Stadium will host round nine on Aug 15-16, with Super League saying the decision to keep to two venues for now offers greater control for the safety and well-being of all involved.
The venues beyond the first two weeks are still to be confirmed and though there will be no crowds initially, Super League says the topic will be “reviewed as the season progresses”. A four-team play-off schedule will take place in mid-to-late November, with the Grand Final to be held at the end of the month.
Testing protocols are up and running, allowing players to return to training by the end of next week, ahead of a demanding month in which all 21 fixtures will be broadcast live by Sky Sports.
Robert Elstone, the Super League executive chairman, said: “We were pleased to be able to confirm a restart date – but fans want to know who their team is playing and when. It hasn’t been easy.”