Warriors new fixtures revealed
Wigan will spend the first month of the season on the road.
The fixtures for Super League XXIII were revealed this morning, with Warriors starting their campaign at Salford on February 2.
They will then fly Down Under to take on Hull FC on February 10 in round two in Wollongong – which is not listed to be screened by Sky Sports – and face NRL outfit Souths in an exhibition game the following week.
On their return to the UK, they will take on Warrington Feb 23. Their first home match – at the DW Stadium – is against Widnes on March 2.
St Helens will host the Good Friday derby on March 30, with Wigan hosting Super League newcomers Hull KR three days later on Easter Monday.
Next season, there is not a second ‘double-round’ weekend, which came under fire earlier this year.
Warriors’ first game against league leaders shield winners Castleford will be on April 20, and their home derby against Saints is on July 19.
Eight of Wigan’s first 23 fixtures will be on Sky Sports but, interestingly, not their historic showdown with Hull FC Down Under – the first Super League game to be held outside of Europe.
Sky Sports will continue to show two games a week and following feedback from supporters, media and clubs, there will now be an earlier kick-off time of 7.45pm for all televised Thursday and Friday night matches. Wigan are also carrying out a fans survey to consider moving their non-televised home games forward 15 minutes from their standard 8pm slot.
Fans will be relieved there appear no fixtures which ‘clash’ with Wigan Athletic home games. Last season, Wigan reversed their match with Widnes - at the 11th hour - to protect the DW Stadium surface for a Latics match.
Next season will be the fourth under the Super-8s format, which means the final seven fixtures of the season won’t be known until the end of July.
After 23 rounds, the league splits, with top-eight playing each other again in a battle for a top-four play-offs spots, with the bottom-four peeling away to form a Qualifiers division with the Championship’s top-four.
The number of home games in the Super-8s depends on the finishing position after 23 rounds.
Those positioned 1st to 4th, and 9th and 10th, get four home games; the other sides get three.
Friday. Feb 2, Salford Red Devils A 7.30pm
Saturday, Feb 10, Hull FC WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Australia, 8.45am UK
Friday, Feb 23 (Sky), Warrington Wolves A, 7.45pm
Friday, Mar 2 Widnes Vikings H, 8pm
Sunday, Mar 11, Wakefield Trinity H, 3pm
Sunday, Mar 18, Castleford Tigers A, 3.30pm
Friday, Mar 23, Huddersfield Giants H, 8pm
Friday, Mar 30, St Helens A, TBC
Monday, Apr 2, Hull Kingston Rovers H, 3pm
Saturday, Apr 7, Catalans Dragons A, 6pm
Round 11, Friday, Apr 13 (Sky), Leeds Rhinos A, 7.45pm
Friday, Apr 20 (Sky), Castleford Tigers H, 7.45pm
Friday, Apr 27, Widnes Vikings A, 8pm
Friday, May 4, Salford Red Devils H, 8pm
Saturday, May 19 (Sky) Warrington Wolves MAGIC, 5.15pm
Friday, May 25, Hull Kingston Rovers, A, 8pm
Thursday, Jun 7 (Sky), Wakefield Trinity A, 7.45pm
Saturday, Jun 16, Hull FC A, 5pm
Thursday, Jun 28 (Sky), Leeds Rhinos H, 7.45pm
Friday, Jul 6, Warrington Wolves H, 8pm
Friday, Jul 13, Huddersfield Giants A, 7.45pm
Thursday, Jul 19 (Sky), St Helens H, 7.45pm
Friday, Jul 27, Catalans Dragons H, 8pm