Leeds Rhinos players to become South Standers at Super League opener against Wakefield Trinity
Leeds Rhinos will begin their season on home turf tomorrow, but in unfamiliar surroundings.
Wakefield Trinity are officially the home team, but all six Betfred Super League fixtures this weekend are being played at Leeds’ Emerald Headingley.
The teams are due to meet three times in the regular season, with Trinity again visiting Headingley in round six, from May 13-16 and having home advantage on August 30 in round 22.
Wakefield will use the home team’s facilities tomorrow and - because of the need for social distancing - Rhinos will get changed on the South Stand concourse.
Trinity coach Chris Chester insisted his side are “not bothered” about conceding home advantage.
The game will be played behind closed doors and he said: “We just want to get out and play.
“It will be nice when we do finally get back home, but we all just want to get a competitive game.
“It has been a long time coming and I am sure both teams will be ready at 3pm on Saturday.”
Rhinos boss Richard Agar also feels, with no crowd in the stadium, neither team will benefit.
“We are getting changed on the South Stand concourse, which does strip you of a little bit of home comforts,” he said.
But Rhinos have been able to train on the Headingley pitch, rather than having to rely on the artificial surface at their Kirkstall base.
“Most people are having to train on 3g pitches, which are great for skill, but can have a fair impact on athletes’ bodies,” he said.
“The alternative’s training on heavy or damp pitches, but we’ve been very fortunate over the last couple of weeks because we’ve been able to get on Headingley.
“Being on a better quality surface has really helped our training and preparation.”
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Agar said: “We did really well with all the circumstances that were thrown at us last year, but now the situation seems to be improving, I think everybody is counting down the days to when we can get some rugby league played in front of a crowd.”
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