Leeds Rhinos will launch their defence of the Betfred Women’s Super League with a repeat of the 2022 Grand Final against the renamed York Valkyrie at Headingley on Easter Sunday, April 9.
The match will be the first part of a double header, followed by the Rhinos men taking on Huddersfield Giants at 6pm.
That is a stand-alone opening fixture for the BWSL season, with the other 10 clubs kicking off on Sunday April 16 – when York have another heavyweight clash against St Helens, the 2022 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup winners, at the LNER Community Stadium.
Other highlights of that round will see Warrington Wolves making their debut in Group One with a derby against Wigan Warriors, and away matches for the two new names in Group Two – as Salford Red Devils travel to Castleford Tigers, and Leigh Leopards face Bradford Bulls at Odsal.
That will set the scene for England’s Mid-Season International against France in Warrington on April 29, and the group stage of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup will then take centre stage for a month before the BWSL returns on Friday May 26 with another blockbuster at Headingley, as Leeds face St Helens.
Also that weekend, York Valkyrie will face Warrington as part of the Betfred Championship’s Summer Bash at the LNER Community Stadium.
The last round of regular season games is on the weekend of September 8-10, after which the top four of Group One will contest Semi Finals leading to the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final on the weekend of October 7-8.
The team finishing top of Group Two will secure automatic promotion to the expanded eight-team BWSL in 2024, with Play-Offs to determine the second promoted team.
Fixtures for the Betfred Women’s Super League South, and the Championship and League One competitions, will be finalised soon – with the draw for the group stage of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup, including Cardiff Demons and London Broncos from the BWSL South and Hull KR and Oulton Raidettes from the Championship, taking place this Thursday (January 12) at Wembley, the venue for August’s Final.
Thomas Brindle, the General Manager of the BWSL, said: “There is more excitement and anticipation than ever around Women’s Rugby League in 2023, after the national impact made by England’s performances in the World Cup.
“For the BWSL to kick off with a repeat of last year’s Grand Final as part of a double header at Headingley is another first for the competition, and another big stage for a lot of those England players.
“We welcome three new names to the BWSL in 2023, following the rebrand of York Valkyrie, the new partnership between Leigh Leopards and Leigh Miners Rangers, and the rapid progress made by Salford Red Devils in their debut season in 2022.
“With Warrington building impressively for their elevation to Group One, it promises to be the most competitive season yet – and we hope to make some more exciting announcements soon about broadcast coverage.”