Rugby League: Hornets host Batley Bulldogs in season opener

Date published: 01 November 2017

Rochdale Hornets will kick off their 2018 Championship season at the Crown Oil Arena as they welcome Batley Bulldogs on 4 February.

Hornets travelling to Heywood Road to take on near neighbours Swinton Lions in round two before returning to The Crown Oil Arena for back to back home games with Dewsbury Rams and Halifax to round off February.

March brings with it some international flair with Hornets first travelling to Toulouse Olympique on 3 March and hosting Toronto Wolfpack in the first of a new Friday Night Lights series two weeks later on 25 March.

In between is a home meeting with Championship new boys Barrow Raiders.

Hornets end March with a reverse of last season’s Good Friday fixture as they travel to Olympic Legacy Park to take on Sheffield Eagles.

April will be a testing period as Hornets host Featherstone Rovers on Easter Monday before heading to Leigh Sports Village the following Sunday to tackle Leigh Centurions.

Back-to-back home games cap off the month with Hornets welcoming London on Friday 13 April and Sheffield Eagles the following Sunday (29 April).

Dewsbury are the opponents on 6 May, Batley on 20 May, followed by the Summer Bash on 27 May.

June kicks off with a trip to Barrow’s Craven Park on 10 June 10 and a journey south to Ealing to tackle London Broncos on 17 June.

Hornets return home following pitch maintenance on 24 June for the visit of Toulouse Olympique before concluding the regular season with three away games in five weeks.

Hornets travel to Featherstone on 1 July before consecutive home games against Greater Manchester rivals Swinton on 8 July and Leigh Centurions on 15 July.

Hornets make the trans-Atlantic trip to Toronto on 21 July before a meeting with Halifax at the Shay to round off the regular season on 29 July.

The Super Eights kick off on 5 August with weekly rounds until the Million Pound Game and Championship Shield final on the weekend of 7 October.

In the 2018 regular season, Hornets will travel 8,558 return miles, with the furthest journey obviously being the Wolfpack’s Lamport Stadium - 6,830 return miles.

Toulouse Olympique’s Stade Ernest Argeles comes runner up with 1,416 return miles while London Broncos are the furthest domestic trip with 434 return miles.

On the flip side, Swinton Lion’s Trafford base is the closest away fixture (46 return miles), just pipping Halifax whose MBI Shay is one mile further (47 return miles) with Greater Manchester neighbours, Leigh Centurions a return journey of 60 miles.

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