5th November 2019, 08:55 | super_league
A repeat of the 2019 Betfred Super League Grand Final, the first ever Super League double header at Emerald Headingley and some high-profile summer signings all make for an eye-catching opening round of fixtures in the 2020 Betfred Super League season.
The opener on Thursday 30 January (kick off 7.45pm) will see Man of Steel Jackson Hastings make his Wigan Warriors debut at home to the 2019 Challenge Cup winners Warrington Wolves, strengthened by their new marquee signing Gareth Widdop from St. George Illawarra.
Warriors fans will also expect to see a debut for George Burgess live on Sky Sports, as Betfred Super League 2020 gets underway at the DW Stadium. That will be the first of 21 live games on Thursday nights selected by the host broadcaster this season, the 25th anniversary of Super League.
The first of 11 selected Friday night TV matches will see champions St Helens take on Salford Red Devils in a repeat of that memorable Grand Final fixture at Old Trafford in October.
Toronto Wolfpack make their eagerly-anticipated Betfred Super League debut against Castleford Tigers in the first ever Super League double header on February 2. They kick off at 2:30pm at Emerald Headingley ahead of Leeds Rhinos’ season opener against Hull FC at 4.45pm.
There are three Hull derbies next season and that is one of the big games that stands out in Round 2 on Friday 7 February (kick off 7.45pm). It comes just 24 hours after a repeat of one of the fastest, most thrilling contests of 2019: Warrington Wolves against St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, on Thursday 6 February (kick off 7.45pm).
A significant change in 2020 will see teams play once across the Easter Weekend, with player welfare at the heart of the decision.
Six fixtures will span four days, with Leeds Rhinos kicking things off against local rivals Wakefield Trinity on Thursday 9 April, followed by Super League’s traditional Good Friday fixtures, which sees Wigan Warriors face St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium at 2.45pm. The Hull derby, played at Hull College Craven Park, is at 12.30pm on Good Friday. All five UK-based matches will be televised by Sky Sports.
Toronto Wolfpack’s first home game at Lamport Stadium comes in Round 11 against Hull FC. They will play three matches ‘on the road’ – which are ‘home’ games hosted at grounds in the UK - against Castleford (Round 1), St Helens (Round 5) and Wakefield Trinity (Round 8). The venues for those two latter fixtures will be confirmed in due course.
Super League Chief Commercial Officer Rhodri Jones said: “We are delighted to be able to share the full 2020 schedule with our fans, and after a lot of work, we are happy with what has been created.
“Round 1 promises to be a fantastic start to our 25th season with some real heavyweight fixtures.
“There is a new feel to Easter, appreciating the tough nature of Super League on the players, and we’ve kept the Friday night final round of games which proved so successful in 2019.
“There is clearly a lot of excitement with Toronto Wolfpack coming into Super League and we’ve had to work through a number of logistical challenges regarding their fixtures.
“Their first Super League game hosted at Lamport Stadium in April against Hull FC will be a superb event. It will also be great for new and existing fans to see them kick off their season in a double header at Emerald Headingley.
“As ever, given the unpredictable nature of the sport, we all recognise that changes to the fixture list will have to be made towards the end of the season to accommodate our broadcast partner, Sky Sports.”