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 and face NRL outfit Souths in an exhibition game the following week.
On their return to the UK, they will travel to Warrington on Friday, February 23. Their first home match – at the DW Stadium – is against Widnes on March 2.
St Helens will stage 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 away on March 18, and their home derby against Saints is on July 19.
Eight of Wigan’s first 23 fixtures will be on Sky Sports, though more are likely to be shown as the broadcaster have yet to choose which Friday games they will televise from the end of April.
Interestingly, the Warriors’ historic showdown with Hull FC Down Under – the first Super League game to be held outside of Europe – is not listed as a Sky Sports-televised match. But there are hopes it will be shown live, at 8.45am UK time on Saturday February 20.
Warriors said they “are confident that our NSW Tour games will be screened live in the UK.”
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.
In terms of Wigan’s home games, there are currently two Thursday matches, one on a Bank Holiday Monday, one on a Sunday and the rest on Fridays. The ‘glamour’ ties are later in the campaign – Castleford visit in Round 12, with Leeds, Warrington and St Helens in the space of four weeks from the end of June.
Once again, they will have a month away from the DW Stadium from early May to create a window for any pitch maintenance work at the DW Stadium.
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 the top-eight playing each other again in a battle for top-four play-offs spots, and 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 A 7.30pm
Saturday, Feb 10: Hull FC (WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Australia,) 8.45am UK
Friday, Feb 23 (Sky): Warrington A, 7.45pm
Friday, Mar 2: Widnes H, 8pm
Sunday, Mar 11: Wakefield H, 3pm
Sunday, Mar 18: Castleford A, 3.30pm
Friday, Mar 23: Huddersfield H, 8pm
Friday, Mar 30: St Helens A, TBC
Monday, Apr 2: Hull KR H, 3pm
Saturday, Apr 7: Catalans A, 6pm
Friday, Apr 13 (Sky): Leeds A, 7.45pm
Friday, Apr 20 (Sky): Castleford H, 7.45pm
Friday, Apr 27: Widnes A, 8pm
Friday, May 4: Salford H, 8pm
Saturday, May 19 (Sky): Warrington (Magic Weekend), 5.15pm
Friday, May 25: Hull KR, A, 8pm
Thursday, Jun 7 (Sky): Wakefield A, 7.45pm
Saturday, Jun 16: Hull FC A, 5pm
Thursday, Jun 28 (Sky): Leeds H, 7.45pm
Friday, Jul 6: Warrington H, 8pm
Friday, Jul 13, Huddersfield A, 7.45pm
Thursday, Jul 19 (Sky): St Helens H, 7.45pm
Friday, Jul 27: Catalans H, 8pm