Wigan Warriors will make history in the 2022 Betfred Super League season when they play consecutive away fixtures against Toulouse Olympique and Catalans Dragons in the competition’s first ever ‘Tour de France’.
The five-time Super League champions will face newly-promoted Toulouse on Saturday, March 5 before visiting 2021 League Leaders’ Shield winners Catalans seven days later in Perpignan. The concept allows Wigan fans the opportunity to make a holiday of their side’s trips to l’Hexagone, as France boasts two sides in Super League for the first time.
The news comes on the day of the release of the full 2022 fixture list, with some big weeks to look out for...
ROUND 1: The Opener
Thursday February 10: St Helens v Catalans Dragons
Friday February 11: Hull Kingston Rovers v Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers v Salford Red Devils
Saturday February 12: Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves, Toulouse Olympique v Huddersfield Giants
Sunday February 13: Wakefield Trinity v Hull FC
The first week of the calendar sees the defending champions St Helens and Catalans Dragons go to battle at the Totally Wicked Stadium to get the party started in a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final. Friday night sees two more fixtures, as the new-look Wigan Warriors travel to Hull College Craven Park to face Hull Kingston Rovers, who will be looking to build on their play-off success last season. Salford Red Devils also make the trip over to Yorkshire, visiting The Mend-A-Hose Jungle with a new coach in Paul Rowley and plenty of new faces. Their opponents, Castleford Tigers, also find themselves entering a new era without Daryl Powell, but Lee Radford has added plenty of talent to the roster.
Saturday sees the Channel 4 coverage of Super League begin, with Leeds Rhinos hosting Warrington Wolves. Warrington have hired the aforementioned Daryl Powell and will be hoping he turns the Wolves from the league’s nearly men to champions. Toulouse will be making their Super League debut down in the south of France at the same time as Huddersfield Giants make the journey, and with the likes of Theo Fages, Will Pryce and Tui Lolohea in their ranks the Giants promise to be an exciting prospect this season.
The final fixture is a Sunday game between Wakefield and Hull FC, with both teams focusing on another season of development more than anything else. Willie Poching at Wakefield might not have the same resources as others but they will spend another year disrupting the flow of the title-challenging sides, while FC will be looking to put their recent years of underachievement behind them.
ROUND 8: Rivals Round
Thursday April 14: Catalans Dragons v Toulouse Olympique, Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity v Castleford Tigers, Warrington Wolves v Salford Red Devils
Friday April 15: Hull KR v Hull FC, St Helens v Wigan Warriors
The ‘Rivals Round’ is a glorious time of the year. Nothing but local derbies, grudge matches and rampant atmospheres fill the stands around the league. Catalans Dragons will be pleased that they finally get the chance to play a team closer to home in Toulouse. Meanwhile, Headingley hosts Huddersfield again on Maundy Thursday, Wakefield take on Cas and Salford mooch a few miles over to the Halliwell Jones to face Warrington. On Good Friday, Hull KR get us underway against their city rivals at Craven Park, followed by the annual Easter clash between Wigan Warriors and St Helens, with fireworks guaranteed!
ROUND 18: Magic Weekend
Saturday July 9: Wakefield Trinity v Toulouse Olympique, St Helens v Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers
Sunday July 10: Huddersfield Giants v Salford Red Devils, Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves, Hull KR v Hull FC
The Magic Weekend returns to the glorious North East, with the Super League descending on Newcastle’s St James’ Park once again and some great clashes on the cards. The festival of Rugby League will see similar fixtures to the ‘Rivals Round’ in the Hull Derby as well as Wigan v St Helens, but also some variation as Toulouse face Wakefield, Leeds meet their other West Yorkshire rivals in Castleford, Warrington match up with title rivals Catalans, and Huddersfield v Salford gets things started on the Sunday. It’s these kinds of weekends when the sport really comes alive with all fans across the league inside one arena for a jam-packed schedule of Rugby League action.
ROUND 27: The Finale
Saturday September 3: Huddersfield Giants vs Wakefield Trinity, Hull FC vs Hull Kingston Rovers, Leeds Rhinos vs Castleford Tigers, Salford Red Devils vs Warrington Wolves, St Helens vs Toulouse Olympique, Wigan Warriors vs Catalans Dragons.
The final weekend will be huge for many teams vying for a play-off place, and with games like Wigan v Catalans, Leeds v Castleford and the third and final Hull Derby on the list, it’s going to be tasty at the top. Of course this won’t be the end of the action, with play-off rounds to follow for the remainder of the month of September filling up the autumn months before the showdown Grand Final on Saturday, September 24 at Old Trafford.
Images courtesy of SWPix.com