After over one year without any meaningful Championship rugby league action to enjoy, the wait is finally over.
For the time being, we can only enjoy these games with the OURLEAGUE app, but hopefully very soon normal service will resume, fingers crossed.
The Rams match is on Saturday evening at home against Whitehaven. Hopefully we can start the season with the win and the all important two points.
My own opinion is Easter is the perfect time to start the new season, instead of the last week of January when under normal circumstances the season would have commenced.
The action kicks off on Good Friday with the newly renamed Halifax Panthers playing against London Broncos.
The Panthers coach Simon Grix will be hoping to get off to a winning start in what looks like a tough start to the season. Games against Bradford Bulls and Toulouse are the Panthers next fixtures. There has been limited changes to Danny Ward’s Broncos squad for the 2021 season. A familiar face returns to the capital as Jarrod Sammut will be hoping to make a big impact in the coming months.
Oldham will be looking for revenge as they meet Swinton Lions for the second time in five days. The Roughyeds lost an entertaining encounter in the Challenge Cup.
Swinton Lions key player in 2021 will be the experienced playmaker Martyn Ridyard. Both teams will be hoping for a winning start to the season.
Another rematch from last weekend Challenge Cup is Featherstone Rovers vs Batley Bulldogs. Rovers are many people’s favourite to finally make it to Super League. They struggled to overcome the fighting spirit of Craig Lingard’s Bulldogs last Saturday. Many teams won’t be underestimating Batley this season.
On Saturday, York City Knights play their first competitive game in their new stadium against Toulouse Olympique. The Knights and Toulouse have a host of new signings.
Toulouse have yet to play a competitive match having not entered this season’s Challenge Cup, but their number one aim is promotion to Super League. Don’t rule out York City Knights chances of getting promoted too.
Easter Sunday starts with Sheffield Eagles against Bradford Bulls, both teams had last weekend off due to Challenge Cup exits. Both teams have lots of ex- Rams players, for the Eagles experienced Anthony Thackeray is the man to watch. Danny Brough returns to Championship rugby after a superb career in Super League.
One career which has ended is Anthony England, he has retired due to ongoing injuries. Another player missing is George Flanagan, he was banned for 10 matches and fined £250 for attacking an opponent’s testicles.
The final match on Sunday is Newcastle Thunder against Widnes Vikings. Simon Fiinnigan left Newcastle to take up the top job at the Vikings. Ambitious Newcastle’s long term plan is being part of Super League’s elite clubs in the coming years. The Vikings captain Jack Owens has signed a new three year deal with his hometown club.