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St Helens, Leeds Rhinos stadiums to host opening rounds of Super League games

St Helens, Leeds Rhinos stadiums to host opening rounds of Super League games
© Reuters
Super League has been on hold for four months because of coronavirus but returns from August 2.

Leeds and St Helens' stadiums will be the only two venues in use for the first couple of weeks when the Super League season resumes next month.

Super League has been on hold for four months because of coronavirus but returns from August 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 August 8 while Salford-Hull, Wakefield-Wigan and a mouthwatering tussle between St Helens and Leeds take place the following day.

Saints' Totally Wicked Stadium will then host round nine on August 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 couple of 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.

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said: "Today's fixtures announcement finally brings the 2020 season back to life.

"We were really pleased to be able to confirm a restart date – but fans really want to know who their team is playing and when. It hasn't been an easy process.

"We have needed the buy-in of our clubs and support from Sky Sports and we're delighted all parties have pulled together to allow us to announce our fixtures and provide the focus for the remainder of the 2020 season.

"It's fantastic that all games in August will be live on Sky Sports. I'm also pleased to confirm that Sky Sports are supporting our efforts to explore other ways to bring as many games as possible into the homes of Super League fans."

There have been a couple of tweaks to the rules for health reasons, with scrums replaced by tap restarts and the 'six-again' rule being brought in for ruck infringements – which has been used in Australia's NRL.

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