Dewsbury Rams can today reveal their 2021 Betfred Championship League fixtures.
The Rams will start off their campaign against Challenge Cup opponents Whitehaven at home.
And then they will face Widnes and Bradford away for their next two games.
Our first competitive league meeting against Batley is on 23rd May. We visit newly promoted Newcastle on the 11th July, before our annual trip over to France.
August is a busy month of fixtures before we end the season in September. Our final two games are away at Batley and at home to Oldham.
The Betfred Championship season comprises 22 rounds of fixtures running until the weekend of September 19, with each of the 14 teams playing nine of the other 13 twice and the other four once. The Summer Bash will not be played in 2021 because of the expectation that crowds will have to be socially-distanced and therefore limited when fans are permitted to return.
Following a meeting of Championship and League 1 clubs with the RFL last week, it has been agreed that positions on the league table in each competition will be determined by points percentage, as in the Betfred Super League in 2020.
This is to recognise the likelihood of fixtures being affected by Covid-19, with postponements permitted if a team loses seven or more players for Covid-related reasons – either players with positive tests, or who have been ruled out through test and trace analysis of close contacts in matches or training.
The first option will be for matches to be rearranged on a free date – but if this is not possible, the fixture will be cancelled.
It has also been determined to suspend Golden Point Extra Time for drawn matches for the 2021 season, following concerns expressed at the meeting for the welfare of players who will have gone more than a year since their last fixture, and the majority of whom are part-time. The intention is to reintroduce Golden Point for the 2022 campaign.
Now that the fixtures have been released for the regular season of the Betfred Championship and the draw made for the First and Second Rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup, the RFL will work with all clubs, broadcasters and streaming partners over the next week to confirm when over the Easter Weekend the opening round Championship games will be played and also confirm the exact day and kick-off time for all First Round games of the Challenge Cup.
Betfred Championship games that are played behind closed doors will be live streamed on the Our League app & website with home season ticket holders given free access to their club’s live stream and all other fans able watch via Pay Per View. Some Betfred Challenge Cup games will be live streamed by the BBC and Betfred with others available on Our League.
The exact day and kick-off time for the games in Round Two onwards of the Betfred Championship will be confirmed in the coming weeks when it is hoped that Government announcements will have given a clearer indication of when fans will be able to return to stadiums.
Betfred Championship Opening Round (Easter weekend, April 2-5 – dates and kick-off times tbc): Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven, Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs, Halifax Panthers v London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder v Widnes Vikings, Oldham v Swinton Lions, Sheffield Eagles v Bradford Bulls, York City Knights v Toulouse Olympique.