There will be two more firsts for the Betfred Women’s Super League this weekend, as Huddersfield Giants and Featherstone Rovers kick off a series of Monday night fixtures, and London Broncos face The Army in the opening match of the new Betfred Women’s Super League South.
Whereas for the first six weekends of the season, two of the 10 BWSL teams have received a bye, from now on all 10 will play every round – with the exception of the last weekend in June, which is set aside for international Rugby League as England face Wales in The National Lottery Mid-Season International in Warrington.
That means in addition to four matches every Sunday, which will continue to be split into a pair of double-headers on either side of the Pennines, a fifth fixture will be played on Monday night – with live coverage on the RFL’s Twitch Rugby League channel (https://www.twitch.tv/rugbyleague) and highlights on Sky Sports now to be shown in a regular Tuesday night slot.
After the meeting between Huddersfield and Featherstone, who have each won one of their opening four matches, the second Monday night match on July 5 features two of the four teams who currently have 100% records as Castleford Tigers take on St Helens.
That is followed on July 12 by Bradford Bulls taking on Wakefield Trinity – which will represent a return to familiar surroundings for the Bulls, as the plan is for all the Monday night matches to be played at Odsal.
On July 19, Wigan Warriors face York City Knights in a repeat of last month’s thrilling Betfred Challenge Cup quarter final which confirmed the arrival of the Knights as a new force in the women’s game.
The following Monday sees a blockbuster meeting between the reigning BWSL champions Leeds Rhinos and the St Helens team who have already won the Challenge Cup this season.
That was scheduled to be the last of the nine rounds of matches before the BWSL splits into the Play-Offs for the top four teams and the Shield for the remaining six.
But the three BWSL fixtures that were postponed last weekend – Cas v Leeds, York v Wakefield and St Helens versus Wigan – are now likely to be rearranged for the first weekend in August, before a two-week break to allow the England Performance Squad an intense training block to continue their World Cup preparations.
The Play-Offs and Shield competitions will then begin on the weekend of August 22, building towards the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final at Emerald Headingley on Sunday October 10 – the day after the men’s Grand Final at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile live streaming of the opening fixture of the Betfred Women’s Super League South competition will also be available on Saturday afternoon, through The Army Rugby League’s Twitch channel armyrugbyleague - Twitch
The game will be played in the impressive surroundings of the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot – before the attention switches west next weekend, when Golden Ferns host Cornish Rebels at the SGS College Stoke Gifford Stadium in Bristol.
This weekend’s full BWSL fixtures are as follows:
Betfred Women’s Super League
Sunday June 20 – Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers (both midday), Warrington Wolves v Wakefield Trinity, York City Knights v St Helens (both 330pm).
Monday June 21 – Huddersfield Giants v Featherstone Rovers (745pm)
Betfred Women’s Super League South
Saturday June 19 – The Army v London Broncos
All the remaining BWSL fixtures are listed here Rugby League (rugby-league.com)
Monday night fixtures:
June 21 – Huddersfield Giants v Featherstone Rovers
July 5 – Castleford Tigers v St Helens
July 12 – Bradford Bulls v Wakefield Trinity
July 19 – Wigan Warriors v York City Knights
July 26 – Leeds Rhinos v St Helens
August 2 – tbc