Rugby league history will be made in Birmingham on Sunday when the Midlands Hurricanes play their first ever fixture at the city’s Alexander Stadium, home of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and The Sportsman will be there to bring you live and exclusive coverage.
The Hurricanes, rebranded in 2022 after 24 years as the Coventry Bears, played their home games last year at Portway Stadium. But they begin their Betfred League 1 campaign against Cornwall RLFC this weekend in the wonderful surroundings of the newly reconfigured 18,000 capacity Alexander Stadium in the regenerated Perry Barr district of Birmingham.
Midlands finished eighth in the 11-team third tier last season, picking up six wins to finish within five points of the play-off spots. And they will be hoping that the new buzz around the team thanks to their relocation will help to boost their chances of making a more concerted run for the top six in the 2023 season.
Cornwall, meanwhile, will be looking to build on a phenomenally successful debut 2022 campaign off the field by producing a greater threat on the pitch each week. Having staved off the wooden spoon last season, their goal will be to do similar this time around even in the absence of the West Wales Raiders from the professional ranks. And given the wonderful local reception to the arrival of League 1 rugby league in the area there will be great crowds expected in Penryn once more in 2023.
The match gets underway at 3pm on Sunday, with coverage beginning on The Sportsman at 2:45 and simultaneous streaming available on The Sportsman Rugby League on YouTube.
But that’s far from the end of our coverage in February, with the Midlands Hurricanes again featuring when we continue on the Road to Wembley in the Betfred Challenge Cup on Sunday, February 26. Having shown a Wigan derby in round one as Ince Rose Bridge overcame Wigan St Patricks in a typically feisty affair, The Sportsman follows the Hurricanes to Betfred Super League territory as Hull Kingston Rovers’ Sewell Group Craven Park plays host to their second round tie against Hull Dockers.
Dockers had an impressive home victory over Rhondda Outlaws in the first round, and their squad includes a number of players with professional experience, including at Hull KR, so the Hurricanes will be expecting a warm reception, on and off the field. The second round fixture begins at 2:45pm, with coverage beginning on The Sportsman at 2:30.
These games come to you as part of The Sportsman’s package of at least 20 live and exclusive fixtures in 2023 across the Betfred Challenge Cup, League 1, Women’s Super League and wheelchair rugby league.