Trophy winners line up for Championship opener

Karl Harrison
Karl Harrison

Halifax will kick off the new-look 26 game Championship against Sheffield Eagles at the Shay on Thursday, January 31 in front of the TV cameras.

The game, which will be shown on pay-per-view channel Premier Sports, brings together Karl Harrison’s Northern Rail Cup winners and Mark Aston’s Grand Final-winning Eagles, who beat Fax on home soil on their way to title glory in the autumn.

It is the first of two TV games in the first five weeks of the season for Fax, who will also hit the small screens at Batley on Thursday, February 28.

Fax’s other major home date of the season, the traditional blockbuster with Championship powerhouses Featherstone, takes place on Sunday, July 14.

This year’s fixture programme also sees changes to the format of the Northern Rail Cup, with Fax and the rest of the Championship clubs spared the usual group stages in favour of a straight last 16 knockout.

Only two Championship One sides will qualify for the latter stages, which will kick off in May.

The Co-operative, long-time sponsors of the game’s second and third tiers, do not currently feature in the title of next year’s competitions.

Round 1

Thursday January 31

Halifax v Sheffield Eagles (7.30pm Premier Sports)

Round 2

Sunday February 10

Workington Town v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 3

Sunday February 17

Halifax v Keighley Cougars (3.00pm)

Round 4

Sunday February 24

York City Knights v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 5

Thursday February 28

Batley Bulldogs v Halifax (7.30pm Premier Sports)

Round 6

Sunday March 10

Halifax v Swinton Lions (3.00pm)

Round 7

Sunday March 17

Halifax v Hunslet Hawks (3.00pm)

Round 8

Sunday March 24

Whitehaven v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 9

Thursday March 28

Halifax v Dewsbury Rams (7.45pm)

Round 10

Monday April 1

Doncaster v Halifax (3:00pm)

Round 11

Sunday April 14

Halifax v Leigh Centurions (3.00pm)

Round 12

Sunday April 28

Featherstone Rovers v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 13

Sunday May 5

Halifax v Barrow Raiders (3.00pm)

Round 14

Friday May 24

Sheffield Eagles v Halifax (7.30pm)

Round 15

Sunday June 2

Swinton Lions v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 16

Sunday June 9

Hunslet Hawks v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 17

Sunday June 23

Dewsbury Rams v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 18

Sunday July 7

Halifax v Whitehaven (3.00pm)

Round 19

Sunday July 14

Halifax v Featherstone Rovers (3.00pm)

Round 20

Sunday July 21

Leigh Centurions v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 21

Sunday July 28

Halifax v York City Knights (3.00pm)

Round 22

Sunday August 4

Barrow Raiders v Halifax (3.00pm)

Round 23

Sunday August 11

Halifax v Doncaster (3.00pm)

Round 24

Sunday August 18

Halifax v Batley Bulldogs (3.00pm)

Round 25

Thursday August 22

Keighley Cougars v Halifax (7.30pm)

Round 26

Sunday September 1

Halifax v Workington Town (3.00pm)