Summer Bash 2023: Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs among the highlights as all 14 Championship sides head to York
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Bash is an annually occurring event, an extra round for teams in the Championship to compete in – and usually a derby clash.
All 14 teams play in the same stadium over a two-day period. This year there will be four games on Saturday, May 27, with Featherstone taking on York City Knights in the last game of the day, followed by three matches on Sunday, May 28.
Originally, the Bash was held at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool with a Rugby Football League article back in 2014 describing Blackpool as the “backdrop to some epic rugby matches” and a fantastic weekend that will produce some “drama of the highest quality”.
Following a successful five years, attendance peaking in 2017 with 16,444 people over the weekend and 11,557 on one day, the Covid-19 pandemic led to the event being cancelled in both 2020 and 2021.
Since the pandemic, Bloomfield Road was unable to host the Summer Bash due to ground maintenance work, so in 2022 it was moved to Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
The 2023 event is going to be held at the LNER Community Stadium, home of York City Knights, over the bank holiday weekend. With a capacity of 8,500, the stadium is set to sell out, ensuring a great atmosphere for both days.
In the league table, the Panthers and Bulldogs are both on 14 points, which could mean a very even and competitive match.
Looking back at previous Summer Bash results, Halifax have won four games compared to Batley’s three. Halifax have played Featherstone, Toulouse and Bradford at the Bash, while Batley have faced Heavy Woollen rivals Dewsbury each year.
The Panthers, along with Leigh Leopards - who are now playing in the Super League - and Sheffield Eagles, have the best Summer Bash record with four wins each.
Here are the fixtures for the 2023 Summer Bash:
Saturday, May 27
12.45pm – Widnes Vikings v Swinton Lions
3pm – Whitehaven v Barrow Raiders
5.15pm – London Broncos v Toulouse
7.30pm – Featherstone Rovers v York City Knights
Sunday, May 28
1.45pm – Newcastle Thunder v Sheffield Eagles
4pm – Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs
6.15pm – Bradford Bulls v Keighley Cougars
A dedicated fan zone in the stadium will provide street food, live music, pre-match interviews and bars for all the fans enjoying the rugby weekend.
Tickets for the Summer Bash are available on the Rugby Football League website.