Halifax Panthers to face Leeds Rhinos in Betfred Wheelchair Super League opener

Halifax Panthers will host defending champions Leeds Rhinos in their first game of the Betfred Wheelchair Super League season next month.

The Betfred Wheelchair Super League will have an exciting new look for 2022, the biggest year in Wheelchair Rugby League history, culminating in the World Cup in the autumn.

Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors will join the group aiming to dethrone Leeds Rhinos, who were crowned champions for the first time last year.

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They will be joined in a seven-team competition by the 2019 champions Halifax, a fourth Betfred Super League club in Hull FC, the ambitious North Wales Crusaders and a brand new name for the sport in London Roosters, built on the strong foundations of Wheelchair Rugby League in Medway, Kent.

The competition will kick off on the weekend of March 5 and 6, with the Rhinos launching their title defence against the Crusaders, Warrington taking on Hull FC, and two of the new teams clashing as Wigan Warriors face London Roosters at their impressive Robin Park base.

And Panthers will begin their campaign when they host Rhinos on Saturday, March 26.

There will be seven rounds of fixtures before the competition splits, with the top four teams qualifying for a Super 4 League leading to the Grand Final in the autumn, which has been confirmed for live coverage on Sky Sports. The purpose is to ensure that the players are competing in high intensity fixtures leading up to the World Cup.

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The bottom three teams will join leading clubs from the Wheelchair RL Championship - with further details to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Martin Coyd OBE, the General Manager of England Wheelchair Rugby League, said: "As we look forward to hosting the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup this autumn, this new structure represents a major step forward for the wheelchair game."

The Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup, also won by Leeds Rhinos in 2021, will kick off with a festival in April, with the final set for June, and discussions are also advanced for England's wheelchair team to play a mid-season international to continue their World Cup preparations.