Home start for Featherstone Rovers in massive 2015 season

Kingstone Press Championship
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Featherstone Rovers will start the new season at home when they host promoted Hunslet Hawks in the opening game of the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship at the Bigfellas Stadium.

The first game will take place on Sunday, February 15 and Rovers will be looking to make a big start.

Their first away game is the following week at Doncaster before a mouth watering home clash with Bradford Bulls on Sunday, March 1 then a tough trip to Halifax on March 8.

Andy Hay’s men have been handed an early chance of revenge against the team that beat them in the Grand Final this year when they host Leigh Centurions on

Sunday, March 15.

They face a tough Easter with Championship clubs going back to two fixtures again and Rovers at home in both to relegated London Broncos on Friday, April 3 and against Sheffield Eagles on Monday, April 6.

Featherstone, meanwhile, finish the regular season at home to Whitehaven on Sunday, July 26.

The 2015 season sees Rugby League embrace an exciting new structure that involves the 12 Super League clubs and 12 Championship clubs splitting into the Super 8s after 23 rounds to determine all the biggest issues of the year: promotion, relegation and Grand Final glory.

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: “The new league structure allows for the return of sustainable promotion and relegation across all competitions and with so much at stake for every club, 2015 promises to be the greatest Championship season of all.

“The Super 8s and Summer Bash will each bring their own exciting new dimension to a year where every minute of every match will matter for every club.”

Each team will play 23 games in the regular season: home and away against the other 11 clubs plus, and in an exciting new addition to the Rugby League calendar, one additional fixture in the Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 23 - 24. Details of fixtures and ticket availability for the Summer Bash will be announced in mid-November.

The Summer Bash sees a whole round of Kingstone Press Championship fixtures, three on each day take place over two action-packed days at the world’s most famous seaside resort. As well as the Championship games, Blackpool will also host the final of the new League One Cup on the Saturday and feature a fantastic package of activities off the field to keep the whole family entertained.

After all 23 rounds have been played, the top four Championship clubs will join the bottom four of Super League in a Super 8 pool called the Qualifiers. The remaining eight Championship clubs will go on to a Super 8 pool called the Championship Shield.

After playing each other once, the top three Qualifiers will be awarded Super League status in 2016 with the final promotion spot determined by the Million Pound Game involving team four and five.

The Championship Shield will culminate with play-off final at the Kingstone Press Championship Finals Day on October 4, an event which will also feature two other matches: the League 1 play-off final and the Conference Challenge Trophy final.

The teams finishing seventh and eighth in the Championship Shield after seven fixtures will be relegated to League 1 for 2016.

Sky Sports will screen selected matches from the Kingstone Press Championship in 2015, including all six matches from the Summer Bash at Blackpool.

Full details of the new league structure, including an easy-to-understand video, can be found by visiting www.extraordinaryrugby.com

More on the fixtures in this week’s edition of the Pontefract & Castleford Express.