Date set for Leeds Rhinos’ final match in front of Headingley’s South Stand

Headingley rugby ground's famous South Stand
Headingley rugby ground's famous South Stand
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HEADINGLEY RUGBY stadium’s iconic South Stand will be demolished at the end of August, Leeds Rhinos have confirmed.

The terrace’s final game will be a round three Super-8s fixture on Friday, August 18.

Fans in the South Stand

Fans in the South Stand

Rhinos will play their final one or two Super-8s games – and possibly a Super League semi-final – without a South Stand. The main stand, which is shared with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, will come down in September.

The long-delayed redevelopment is part of a £35m scheme which is due for completion in the spring of 2019.

The club have confirmed all their home games in 2018 and 2019 will be played at Headingley while construction work takes place and “elements” of the new South Stand will be available during next season.

Membership details for 2018 will be announced at the start of August, but the club insist next season’s reduced capacity will still provide enough space for all existing members.

It will be an emotional occasion when we play our final game in front of the existing South Stand, but we have a number of matches between then and now to make sure we give it a proper send off

Leeds Rhinos’ chief executive, Gary Hetherington.

South Standers will be accommodated on the Western or Carnegie terraces for games after August 18 this year.

Chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “The South Stand has been the heartbeat of our club for nearly a century and this will be an historic occasion.

“It will be an emotional occasion when we play our final game in front of the existing South Stand, but we have a number of matches between then and now to make sure we give it a proper send off before the demolition begins.”

The news comes after a busy day for Rhinos who confirmed the signing of Catalans Dragons half-back Richie Myler on a three-year contract beginning next season.

Full-back Zak Hardaker’s loan spell at Castleford Tigers has been converted into a permanent move, with Rhinos receiving a £150,000 transfer fee.

Rhinos pair Danny McGuire and Jamie Jones-Buchanan will both miss tomorrow’s hosting of St Helens after being banned for one match each by the RFL disciplinary.

McGuire, who was punished for abusing referee Robert Hicks during the home defeat by Castleford, said on Twitter: “[I] Was disappointed with how I reacted the other day. Just a bit of frustration and in the heat of the moment I used one swear word.

“[I] Realise that officials deserve respect and it’s a tough job and I should know better. Gutted to miss a big game Thursday and letting the lads down.”

Star man, Danny McGuire. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Inside RL 2017 Awards: Influential McGuire signs off in some style – Peter Smith