After months of waiting for confirmation, Super League have announced that the competition will return on Sunday August 2nd, with three games exclusively live on Sky Sports.
The safety of players, officials and club staff were paramount to the restart being announced, but the Super League Board have now confirmed that its premier competition will commence behind closed doors at a single, neutral venue.
First round of fixtures
August 2nd sees the following games take place at a yet to be confirmed venue:
Hull Kingston Rovers v Toronto Wolfpack (1pm KO)
St Helens v Catalans Dragons (4:15pm KO)
Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos (6:30pm KO)
The following weekend (August 8th/9th) will see all clubs return to action with the following fixtures:
August 8th (Emerald Headingly Stadium):
Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants (1pm KO)
Castleford Tigers v Catalans Dragons (4:15 KO)
Warrington Wolves v Hull Kingston Rovers (6:30 KO)
August 9th: (Emerald Headingly Stadium):
Salford Red Devils v Hull FC (1pm KO)
Wakefield Trinity v Wigan Warriors (3:15 KO)
Leeds Rhinos v St Helens (6:30 KO)
In addition, the Super League Board have made the decision to revise the season somewhat. There will be 15 further rounds of action, which will be followed by a Top-Four semi-final play-off. The winners of these will progress to the Betfred Super League Grand Final, which will take place in late November 2020. The date is yet to be scheduled, however. As a knock on effect of this, the 2021 season will be pushed back.
Currently, only a small number of neutral venues can be used for the fixtures until the government's guidance changes. The added complication for the league is that directives from the French and Canadian governments may not match their own, and this is being closely monitored. There is an increasing chance too that Toronto Wolfpack may not finish the season, as Visa issues for a large number of their players may mean they will not have a full squad to compete in games.
Robert Elstone - Super League Executive Chairman - said in a statement: “We are delighted to confirm Betfred Super League will be returning in just a few weeks’ time on Sunday August 2, live on Sky Sports.”
“We are in the final stages of confirming where the games will be played, and we continue to work closely with Sky Sports to deliver the best possible broadcast schedule for our fans. Further details of this will be confirmed over the coming weeks.”
“Above all we know that fans want to get back into grounds to support their teams. We will continue to follow government advice and work alongside the RFL, clinical advisors and ground safety personnel to ensure that when that time comes, Super League is ready to welcome back its fans at the first opportunity.”
“Whilst the recent government announcements underline increasing optimism, the pandemic remains unpredictable. Our final fixture schedule needs to respond to opportunities that will unfold over the coming weeks and accordingly, full details of fixtures, venues and season structure will be confirmed as they become known”.
“I would like to express my gratitude for the understanding and patience shown by Sky Sports, Betfred, and our other valued commercial partners, as we have navigated through this difficult time.”
“Finally, I would like to thank the fans and players for their patience, positivity and desire to see Super League back up and running post-Covid-19.”
Make sure you stay with VAVEL's Rugby League page for all the latest updates, announcements and Live coverage once the competition resumes on August 2nd.