Castleford Tigers have abandoned plans to stage a Boxing Day fixture – but fans will still have chance to see their side in action.
The West Yorkshire club will instead open up a training session for supporters to come along and see players going through their paces after Christmas and also meet them afterwards.
A lack of suitable opponents has been the predominant reason for Castleford to stay clear of a traditional friendly on December 26.
Chief executive Steve Ferres said: “We had tried to reverse last year’s fixture with Bradford Bulls but they have a small squad and didn’t want to risk injuries.
“As such, we tried to secure a match elsewhere but have been unable to do so with a team that would make it a viable proposition.
“For the same reason as the Bulls, Ian (Millward) is also reluctant for the squad to play so early and with two exciting challenges facing them ahead of the new season, it is important the players are in full fitness for those matches.
“I am nevertheless, aware of how much fans enjoy the Boxing Day fixture so we have decided to try something unique.
“The Wish Communications Stadium will be open that day and the players’ training schedules have been adapted to give supporters the opportunity to come down to the ground and see them train in a full contact session on the main pitch, subject to the weather.”
Castleford open their Super League season at Warrington Wolves on February 3 but have a friendly at Hull FC on January 13 and host Featherstone Rovers a week later.
Meanwhile Rovers have announced a new sponsorship deal with Heineken which will see the brewery’s Foster’s lager brand appearing on Fev shirts for the next three years.
The deal also includes perimeter advertising and hospitality on match days.