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Crusaders to start against Leeds

Super League

Super League newcomers Celtic Crusaders will get the new domestic season under way with a prestigious fixture against defending champions Leeds Rhinos.

The Welsh side will get Super League XIV started at 2000 GMT on 6 February when they visit Headingley.

Last year's runners-up St Helens kick off against Warrington on 13 February.

With the competition expanded to 14 teams, the end-of-season play-offs will feature the top eight sides with the Grand Final taking place on 10 October.

Super League XIV will feature several firsts for the game in Britain, with top flight games taking place in Wales, Scotland and Spain.

Barcelona will be on the travel itinerary for Warrington fans with French outfit Catalans Dragons moving their game against the Wolves on 20 June to the city's Olympic Stadium, normally home to Espanyol.

Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium will host the "Magic" weekend on 2 and 3 May after the Rugby Football League decided to move it from the previous location in Cardiff, while the inclusion of the Crusaders adds their Brewery Field ground in Bridgend to the Super League map.

We're looking forward to welcoming the other Super League teams and fans to the Brewery Field

Crusaders chief executive David Thompson

Crusaders head coach John Dixon admitted: "Playing the 2008 Super League and World Club Champions in our first fixture game provides us with the best possible introduction to playing at the elite level.

"We look forward to the game."

And Crusaders chief executive David Thompson said he was thrilled to see his club in among the elite of the British game.

"Playing in Super League was the sole aim of the club when we first started playing in National League Two in 2006," he said.

"And in some ways it feels like we have preparing for the start of next season for the last three years.

"To have the Crusaders alongside the names of the other 13 clubs will be a little surreal but I am sure we'll get used to it pretty quickly.

"Everyone at the club is very excited about next season and we're looking forward to welcoming the other Super League teams and fans to the Brewery Field.

"This is a very exciting time for rugby league and Welsh sport."


Opening fixtures:

Friday, 6 February, 2009:

Leeds Rhinos v Celtic Crusaders

Sunday, 8 February, 2009:

Harlequins v Bradford Bulls
Wigan Warriors v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

Friday, 13 February, 2009:

Hull FC v Wigan Warriors
Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Salford City Reds v Celtic Crusaders
St Helens v Warrington Wolves

Saturday, 14 February, 2009:

Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants

Sunday, 15 February, 2009:

Bradford Bulls v Hull Kingston Rovers
Castleford Tigers v Harlequins

Final fixtures:

Friday, 11 September, 2009:

Hull FC v Bradford Bulls
Salford City Reds v Leeds Rhinos
St Helens v Catalans Dragons

Sunday, 13 September, 2009:

Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Hull Kingston Rovers
Warrington Wolves v Harlequins
Castleford Tigers v Celtic Crusaders



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see also
Cut number of SL games - Anderson
20 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Clubs 'must help England develop'
19 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Graham scoops Man of Steel award
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
St Helens 16-24 Leeds Rhinos
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Super League's Ins and Outs
26 Nov 08 |  Rugby League


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Liverpool Echo Saints facing a wolves opener - 36 hrs ago
Liverpool Echo ST HELENS 2009 - 36 hrs ago
Rugby Super League Super League fixtures announced - 59 hrs ago
Andover Advertiser Crusaders open with Rhinos test - 63 hrs ago


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