2017 is here and we now just over a month away until the Betfred Super League season gets underway, but before then we still have a number of pre-season friendlies
7. Salford vs Hull FC (29th January)
Last years challenge cup winners face a tricky pre season game at the AJ bell stadium. Both sides will be using the game as a chance to test out new players especially Albert Kelly as Marc Sneyd’s new half back partner.
6. Saints vs Widnes (22nd January)
Once again, the inaugural Karalius cup (named after the legndary Vince Karalius) is being played at Langtree park. Widnes won last year 30-16 and Saints will want their revenge this year on their own turf.
5. Hull FC vs Hull KR (8th January)
Despite this not being a super league fixture anymore, bragging rights are still to be won in the city of Hull. KR have reshaped their team after their relegation and will want to test out their team before the season begins. Tim Sheens’ new club will be wanting to avoid a repeat of last season when they lost 60-20.
4. Warrington vs Huddersfield (1st February)
Surprisingly, these sides meet on a Wednesday. They had contrasting seasons with Warrington reaching two finals and winning the league leaders shield whereas Huddersfield had a nightmare season which led to Paul Anderson departing and being replaced by Rick Stone. The Wolves will want to go one step further and win a trophy and Huddersfield will want to reach the top eight comfortably.
3. Saints vs Castleford (29th January)
In Saints’ second and final pre season game, they host Castleford at Langtree park. It will be a chance for both teams to test out their players and see who will be in the starting 17 in the first game of the super league season.
2. Catalans vs Wigan (28th January)
Surprisingly, Shaun Wane’s side have opted to travel to France in preparation for the new season. They face the physical Catalan Dragons who will want to improve on last year especially with the signing of Greg Bird on a long term deal. It may be a chance for new French signings Morgan Escare and Romain Navarrete to play against their former club.
1. Leigh vs Wigan (22nd January)
Differently to last year, the Centurions are preparing for a Super League season. They defeated Wigan last pre-season and showed their potential. They backed this up throughout the season and secured promotion to Super league. Champions Wigan will also be up for this local derby as they face Catalan the week after, then Salford in round 1 of super league before playing Cronulla in the world club challenge.