Wane: Bring on the Giants

WIGAN Warriors will get their 2012 Super League campaign under way with back-to-back home games after the new season’s fixtures were released this morning.

The 2010 champions and last year’s Challenge Cup winners will get the Shaun Wane era officially off and running when they host Huddersfield Giants on Sunday, February 5.

Six days later the Warriors will welcome Leeds Rhinos to the DW Stadium for a Saturday evening kick-off.

The opening weekend of the 2012 season sees champions Rhinos begin their title defence with a home match against Hull Kingston Rovers on Friday, February 3, when Super League newcomers Widnes Vikings begin their life in the top tier with a home game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

The following day sees the newly-built City of Salford Stadium hosts its first competitive fixture as Salford City Reds play Castleford Tigers and at the Twickenham Stoop, newly-renamed London Broncos face St Helens.

On Sunday February 5, Hull FC then face Warrington Wolves and Bradford Bulls entertain Super League Club of the Year Catalan Dragons.

The highlight of round two is the first match at the new Langtree Park Stadium where St Helens face Salford in the first game at their new £20m 18,000-capacity home.

Meanwhile, the Etihad Stadium in Manchester will host a full round of Super League fixtures in May when Magic Weekend moves to the home of Manchester City FC.

Local rivalries will again take centre stage for the Round 15 matches over the weekend of May 26 and 27 which will provide one of many highlights of the 2012 Super League season.

The schedule for Magic Weekend 2012 will be confirmed in the New Year following consultation with Super League’s broadcast partners Sky Sports and the Etihad Stadium, which last hosted a rugby league match in October 2004 when over 40,000 people saw Australia defeat Great Britain in the Tri-Nations tournament.