LEEDS RHINOS’ final game of the season, against promoted Leigh Centurions, has been brought forward 24 hours to Thursday, September 22 (8pm).
The change, announced with just nine days’ notice, is at the request of Sky television and means Rhinos will have only three full days to prepare following Sunday’s trip to Huddersfield Giants.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington described the change as “part and parcel” of the final part of the season.
He said: “I can’t remember the last time we had to change a fixture.
“We certainly haven’t had to change one this season and I don’t think we did last season.
“Clearly it makes it very challenging for the players, to be backing up after four days and I recognise it may be a real inconvenience for some fans and sponsors.
“We have every sympathy with them, but we recognise that at this stage of the season this [fixture changes] is part and parcel of what we, the clubs, have to deliver.”
The game was not chosen for television coverage on the original date as that clashes with the final round of matches in the Super-8s.
Saturday is the usual day for televised games in the Qualifiers, but Sky are likely to broadcast Hull KR’s crucial relegation battle with Huddersfield Giants on September 24.