The showdown between two teams with strong promotion ambitions will provide a mouthwatering start to the new season on Sunday February 15 on the most important opening weekend in Championship history.
The 2015 season sees Rugby League embrace an exciting new structure that involves the 12 Super League clubs and 12 Championship clubs splitting into the Super 8s after 23 rounds to determine all the biggest issues of the year: promotion, relegation and Grand Final glory.
Round 1 of the Championship also sees London Broncos welcome Doncaster to The Hive where the team that finished bottom of Super League in 2014 faces the club led by the Championship’s Coach of the Year, Paul Cooke.
Elsewhere, 2014 Championship runners up Featherstone Rovers take on newly-promoted Hunslet Hawks, Sheffield Eagles travel to Dewsbury Rams, Whitehaven host Halifax and Batley Bulldogs are at home to Workington Town.
RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “The new league structure allows for the return of sustainable promotion and relegation across all competitions and with so much at stake for every club, 2015 promises to be the greatest Championship season of all.
“The Super 8s and Summer Bash will each bring their own exciting new dimension to a year where every minute of every match will matter for every club.”
Each team will play 23 games in the regular season: home and away against the other 11 clubs plus, and in an exciting new addition to the Rugby League calendar, one additional fixture in the Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 23 – 24. Details of fixtures and ticket availability for the Summer Bash will be announced in mid-November.
The Summer Bash sees a whole round of Kingstone Press Championship fixtures, three on each day take place over two action-packed days at the world’s most famous seaside resort. As well as the Championship games, Blackpool will also host the final of the new League 1 Cup on the Saturday and feature a fantastic package of activities off the field to keep the whole family entertained.
After all 23 rounds have been played, the top four Championship clubs will join the bottom four of Super League in a Super 8 pool called the Qualifiers. The remaining eight Championship clubs will go on to a Super 8 pool called the Championship Shield.
After playing each other once, the top three Qualifiers will be awarded Super League status in 2016 with the final promotion spot determined by the Million Pound Game involving team four and five.
The Championship Shield will culminate with play-off final at the Kingstone Press Championship Finals Day on October 4, an event which will also feature two other matches: the League 1 play-off final and the Conference Challenge Trophy final.
The teams finishing seventh and eighth in the Championship Shield after seven fixtures will be relegated to League 1 for 2016.
Sky Sports will screen selected matches from the Kingstone Press Championship in 2015, including all six matches from the Summer Bash at Blackpool.
Full details of the new league structure, including an easy-to-understand video, can be found by visiting www.extraordinaryrugby.com
2015 KEY DATES – KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP
Weekend of 12-15 – Championship Round One
Weekend of 23-24 – Summer Bash at Blackpool
Weekend of 27-28 – Challenge Cup quarter-finals
Weekend of 1-2 – Challenge Cup semi-finals
Saturday 29th – Challenge Cup final at Wembley
Weekend of 26-27 – Championship Shield semi-finals
Weekend of 3-4 – The Million Pound Game and Championship Shield Final
Kingstone Press Championship fixtures 2015
Round Date Home Away KO Time (Local Time)
1 15/02/2015 London Broncos Doncaster 3pm
1 15/02/2015 Whitehaven Halifax 3pm
2 22/02/2015 Bradford Bulls Whitehaven 3pm
2 22/02/2015 Doncaster Featherstone Rovers TBC
2 22/02/2015 Halifax Leigh Centurions 3pm
3 01/03/2015 Batley Bulldogs Halifax 3pm
3 01/03/2015 Whitehaven Sheffield Eagles 3pm
3 01/03/2015 Workington Town Doncaster 3pm
4 08/03/2015 Dewsbury Rams Whitehaven 3pm
4 08/03/2015 Doncaster Leigh Centurions TBC
4 08/03/2015 Halifax Featherstone Rovers 3pm
5 15/03/2015 Halifax Dewsbury Rams 3pm
5 15/03/2015 Hunslet Hawks Doncaster 3pm
5 15/03/2015 Whitehaven London Broncos 3pm
6 29/03/2015 Doncaster Batley Bulldogs TBC
6 29/03/2015 Leigh Centurions Whitehaven 3pm
6 28/03/2015 London Broncos Halifax 3pm
7 03/04/2015 Bradford Bulls Halifax 8pm
7 03/04/2015 Doncaster Sheffield Eagles TBC
7 03/04/2015 Workington Town Whitehaven 3pm
8 06/04/2015 Halifax Hunslet Hawks 3pm
8 06/04/2015 Whitehaven Doncaster 3pm
9 12/04/2015 Doncaster Dewsbury Rams TBC
9 12/04/2015 Halifax Workington Town 3pm
9 12/04/2015 Hunslet Hawks Whitehaven 3pm
10 26/04/2015 Doncaster Bradford Bulls TBC
10 26/04/2015 Sheffield Eagles Halifax TBC
10 26/04/2015 Whitehaven Featherstone Rovers 3pm
11 03/05/2015 Batley Bulldogs Whitehaven 3pm
11 03/05/2015 Halifax Doncaster 3pm
12 10/05/2015 Leigh Centurions Halifax 3pm
12 10/05/2015 Sheffield Eagles Doncaster TBC
12 10/05/2015 Whitehaven Bradford Bulls 3pm
13 17/05/2015 Doncaster Workington Town TBC
13 17/05/2015 Halifax Whitehaven 3pm
14 Summer Bash fixtures at Blackpool on weekend of the 23rd/24th May
15 30/05/2015 Dewsbury Rams Doncaster 3pm
15 30/05/2015 Whitehaven Leigh Centurions 3pm
15 30/05/2015 Workington Town Halifax 3pm
16 07/06/2015 Bradford Bulls Doncaster 3pm
16 07/06/2015 Featherstone Rovers Halifax 3pm
16 07/06/2015 Whitehaven Hunslet Hawks 3pm
17 14/06/2015 Doncaster London Broncos TBC
17 14/06/2015 Hunslet Hawks Halifax 3pm
17 14/06/2015 Sheffield Eagles Whitehaven TBC
18 21/06/2015 Dewsbury Rams Halifax 3pm
18 21/06/2015 Featherstone Rovers Doncaster 3pm
18 21/06/2015 Whitehaven Batley Bulldogs 3pm
19 28/06/2015 Doncaster Whitehaven TBC
19 28/06/2015 Halifax London Broncos 3pm
20 05/07/2015 Batley Bulldogs Doncaster 3pm
20 05/07/2015 Halifax Sheffield Eagles 3pm
20 05/07/2015 London Broncos Whitehaven 3pm
21 12/07/2015 Doncaster Hunslet Hawks TBC
21 12/07/2015 Halifax Batley Bulldogs 3pm
21 12/07/2015 Whitehaven Workington Town 3pm
22 19/07/2015 Doncaster Halifax TBC
22 19/07/2015 Whitehaven Dewsbury Rams 3pm
23 26/07/2015 Featherstone Rovers Whitehaven 3pm
23 26/07/2015 Halifax Bradford Bulls 3pm
23 26/07/2015 Leigh Centurions Doncaster 3pm