Rochdale Hornets scheduled for March return
Date published: 24 December 2020
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The Rugby Football League (RFL) has announced that Rochdale Hornets' season is planned to begin in early March, almost a full 12 months since the team's last competitive fixture, with the first round of the Challenge Cup.
The intention is for the RFL season to begin with the return of the Betfred Championship on the weekend of 27-28 February.
The first two rounds of the Challenge Cup will be played on the first two weekends of March, with Rochdale Hornets and the other nine clubs from Betfred League 1 kicking off their campaigns in the First Round joined by four Championship clubs, to produce seven winners who will join the other nine English Championship clubs in the Second Round the following week.
The four teams that make it through to the Third Round of the Challenge Cup will also qualify for the semi finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition introduced for non-Super League clubs in 2019 to provide a second and more realistic opportunity of playing on Challenge Cup Final day at Wembley.
In 2021, the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi finals are again scheduled to be played on the same weekend as the Challenge Cup semi finals in June, with the final at Wembley on Saturday 17 July.
Betfred League 1 will be an 18-round competition, with each of the 10 clubs playing the other nine home and away. Details of the Betfred League 1 Play-Offs, and of promotion and relegation between the two competitions, will be confirmed in the New Year.
Clubs have already agreed that games played behind closed doors will be streamed live on the RFL’s Our League platforms (app & website) on a pay per view basis, allowing supporters to watch fixtures even if they cannot attend in person – with home season ticket holders given free access to the live stream packages for their club’s league games.
It has also been agreed that the league table in each competition will be determined on a points percentage system, as with Betfred Super League in 2020, in recognition of the likelihood of Covid-19 remaining a factor.
Again, full details of this will be finalised in the New Year, along with the testing procedures for clubs.
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