Betfred Championship and League One dates confirmed: Featherstone Rovers, Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams to face Premier Sports cameras as Hunslet prepare for spring start

Next year's Betfred Championship season will kick off at the end of January, but third tier clubs will have to wait another two months for their league campaign to begin.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 3:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 4:05 pm
Featherstone kick off the Championship's new TV coverage away to York in a repeat of last season's 1895 Cup final. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams are both in home action on the opening Sunday of the Championship season.

Bulldogs play host to Halifax on January 30 in a battle between the sides finishing fourth and third in the table this year, while Rams take on former tenants Bradford Bulls at Tetley’s Stadium.

Featherstone Rovers’ bid for promotion to Super League, under new coach Brian McDermott, will begin the following evening.

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The former Leeds Rhinos boss’ first competitive game in charge of Rovers is away to York City Knights - in a repeat of last season’s 1895 Cup final - on Monday, January 31.

That and Rovers’ opening home game, against relegated Leigh Centurions a week later, will both be televised live by Premier Sports as part of their new Monday evening coverage.

Televised matches have been confirmed for the opening 12 Championship rounds and include Rams’ home game against Widnes Vikings on February 21, Rovers’ visit to Bradford Bulls on April 25 and Batley’s clash with Leigh at Mount Pleasant on May 16.

Two rounds of Championship fixtures have been scheduled for the four-day Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend from June 2-5.

The Summer Bash, when an entire round of matches is played at the same ground over two days, will return this year - after a two year absence because of Covid - on the weekend of July 30/31.

After five previous visits to Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, the RFL have confirmed the Bash will have a new venue in 2023, but details and fixtures have yet to be revealed.

League One kicks off when Hunslet visit London Skolars on Saturday, March 26.

With 11 teams in the division, each side will have two byes during the 22-round campaign, which ends on the first weekend in September.

Hunslet will break new ground twice in 2022, visiting Midlands Hurricanes on Sunday, May 1 and Cornwall on Saturday, July 2.

Hurricanes have rebranded from the Coventry Bears and will play home games next season at Birmingham and Solihull Bees rugby union club’s Forshaw Heath Laneground in Portway, south of Birmingham.

New club Cornwall will play at the Memorial Ground in Penryn.

There are no fixtures scheduled in either division for the weekend of June 18-19, which has been kept clear for mid-season internationals.

The first round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, involving community clubs, will take place in mid-January.

League One clubs will enter at the second round stage two weeks later, on the weekend the Championship kicks off.

Championship sides will join in from round four, on the weekend of February 26-27. The first round draw will be made later this month, when details of the 1895 Cup are also confirmed.

Super League fixtures are due to be revealed on November 25.