Halifax will lock horns with derby rivals Bradford Bulls in a league game for the first time since 2003 when they visit Odsal for a Good Friday showdown with Super League’s fallen giants.
The April 3 fixture, with a kick off time to be confirmed, was the highlight of the revamped Championship fixture list, which was revealed at 9pm on Sunday.
It pits Richard Marshall’s new-look Fax against James Lowes’ full timers and comes hot on the heels of a trip to London, the other side relegated from Super League this year, on Sunday, March 29 (3.0).
The return fixtures at the Shay both come later in the season, with London in town on Sunday, June 28, before the Bulls bring down the curtain on the regular season on Sunday, July 26, a prelude to the top two divisions of 12 splitting into three leagues of eight.
“They’re big games, and they’re the kind of games we want to be involved in, but I think we could have been dealt an easier set of cards over that Easter week,” said Marshall.
“Logically, I think they’ll be the two hardest away games we play all year anyway, so to have them back to back over such a short period does not make them any easier.
“We’ll need to manage the squad well over that period to try and maximise their recovery and we’ll also have to keep one eye on the Hunslet game on Easter Monday, because those are ones where it can catch up with you.
“If we do that, then we can be excited about playing those teams and the challenge they present.”
Marshall’s side will kick off their year at Whitehaven on Sunday, February 15, with home games against key rivals Leigh, Featherstone and Dewsbury all coming in the first five weeks.
Marshall will make his first public appearance as Fax coach at the Shay this Thursday, October 23 (7.30), when he takes part in a question and answer session. The event is open to all and admission is free.
Halifax RL Fixtures, all 3pm unless stated
15 Whitehaven (a)
22 Leigh (h)
1 Batley (a)
8 Featherstone Rovers (h)
15 Dewsbury (h)
29 London Broncos (a)
3 Bradford Bulls (a) TBC
6 Hunslet (h) TBC
12 Workington (h)
26 Sheffield Eagles (a) TBC
3 Doncaster (h)
10 Leigh Centurions (a)
17 Whitehaven (h)
*Summer Bash fixtures to be played in Blackpool on weekend of the 23rd/24th May*
31 Workington (a)
7 Featherstone Rovers (a)
12 Hunslet Hawks (a) 8pm
21 Dewsbury Rams (a)
28 London Broncos (h)
5 Sheffield Eagles (h)
12 Batley Bulldogs (h)
19 Doncaster (a) TBC
26 Bradford Bulls (h)