RFL BOARD DISCUSS CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON FUTURE
4 days ago
The Rugby Football League have released the following statement on the future of the 2020 Betfred Championship season.
15 November 2019
The Lions will face Oldham RLFC at the 2020 Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool on Sunday 31st May.
Swinton Lions will face Oldham RLFC at the 2020 Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool on Sunday 31st May.
The Betfred Championship Summer Bash is returning to Blackpool for a sixth consecutive year in 2020 – and this time there will be a complementary event straddling two competitions across the Channel.
Six matches will be staged at Bloomfield Road on the weekend of May 30-31, with the emphasis on local derbies – beginning with Batley versus Dewsbury on Saturday May 30, and also including Featherstone versus Bradford, Swinton versus Oldham, and culminating in Leigh versus Widnes in a repeat of the most-watched fixture of 2019’s successful Bash weekend.
Whitehaven, who will return to the Betfred Championship next season after securing promotion from Betfred League 1 with Oldham, will face Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles in the first match of the Sunday programme.
Meanwhile London Broncos will travel to France to face Toulouse Olympique XIII in a Double Header also featuring the Betfred Super League fixture between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos at the Stade Ernest Wallon – the home of rugby union club Stade Toulousain, where TO XIII will play all their home fixtures next season.
As part of this arrangement, Toulouse will face the Broncos in another Anglo-French Betfred Super League and Championship Double Header at Emerald Headingley Stadium in August, when Leeds play their return fixture against the Catalans. That meeting on neutral ground will be the third of the season between Toulouse and London, ensuring that neither is at an unfair advantage or disadvantage as a result of playing in Toulouse on the Bash weekend.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The 2019 Betfred Championship Summer Bash weekend was one of the best yet, and it’s great for us to be able to confirm that we’re going back to Blackpool in 2020.
“It’s an exciting programme of fixtures with a couple of old favourites in the Batley-Dewsbury derby to kick things off on the Saturday, and Leigh versus Widnes to complete the action on Sunday evening – as it did in such exciting fashion in 2019, when there was a great atmosphere in the stadium and we had excellent viewing figures on Sky Sports.
“But there’s a fresh new look to the remaining four games, with Oldham and Whitehaven involved again after their promotion from Betfred League 1, and Featherstone Rovers to take their old rivalry with Bradford to Blackpool for the first time in the climax of our Saturday programme – which means Halifax will also have new opposition in York City Knights.
“We’ve also worked hard to accommodate Toulouse’s imaginative proposals for a major new Rugby League event in France, and credit should go to London Broncos and Leeds Rhinos for their support.”
Saturday 30 May
15:00: Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams
17:15: Halifax RLFC v York City Knights
19:30: Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls
Sunday 31 May
13:00: SWINTON LIONS v Oldham RLFC
15:15: Sheffield Eagles v Whitehaven RLFC
17:30: Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings