A HOME derby with Bradford Bulls is back on Leeds Rhinos’ fixture list after the clubs announced today they will meet in Jamie Peacock’s testimonial game.
There will be no Super League showdown between the arch-rivals next year following Bulls’ relegation to the Kingstone Press Championship, but Bradford will visit Headingley Carnegie in Leeds’ main pre-season game on Sunday, January 25 (3pm).
Peacock won three Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and two World Club titles with Bradford between 1999 and 2005 before moving to his home-town club in 2006.
Since then, he has added five more Grand Final victories, two World titles and last year’s Challenge Cup final win to his list of honours, but the former England captain – who turns 37 next month – has confirmed he will retire at the end of 2015.
Looking ahead to his benefit match, Peacock said: “Firstly, I would like to thank James Lowes and the Bulls board for agreeing to come to Headingley Carnegie for this game.
“To have a testimonial game is a real honour and I am grateful to all those who have made this possible.
“I know throughout my career how special any meeting between Leeds and Bradford is and with us playing in different competitions this season, it will certainly give this game extra significance.”
Rhinos coach Brian McDermott – who played alongside Peacock in the Bulls’ pack – added: “Jamie thoroughly deserves this testimonial game after he has given so much to the game over the last two decades.
“I know the Leeds fans will turn out in force to show their support for him and I am sure the Bulls fans will do likewise given the success he has brought to both clubs.
“This will be our final game before we play Hull KR in the opening round of the competition and it will be a key part of our preparations as we look to start the new campaign in good form.”
Bulls chief James Lowes is also a former Bradford team-mate of Peacock and coached him during his spell on Rhinos’ backroom staff.
He said: “Jamie has been a fantastic servant to the game of rugby league, Leeds Rhinos and, of course, Bradford Bulls – where it all began for him.
“He wanted to see the Rhinos go up against us and we were happy to accept his request.
“The game will provide us with another high-quality test, in which we will make use of a full squad. It will be another step up for us.
“For us, by that point, it will be about ironing things out, readying ourselves for regular-season action.
“I am sure there will be a great atmosphere at Headingley. It is a game for our supporters to look forward to.”
Tickets for the game are on sale now, priced at £15 for the standing areas (£10 concessions, £5 juniors) and £20 (£15 concessions, £5 juniors) to sit in the main stand or paddock. Corporate hospitality – including a two-course pre-match meal, premium seat ticket and car parking – is priced at £55 for adults and £20 for juniors and can be booked by contacting Rhinos’ commercial sales department on 0113 2033222. Also available is a JP’s Legends package, including a one-course steak pie lunch with past players/legends present and a main stand seat ticket, costing £30 (adults) and £12.50 (juniors) from Leeds Rugby’s store or by ringing 0871 423 1315.