The expanded play-off series gets under way at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday when Warrington, who finished third at the end of the regular season, take on sixth-placed Hull.
Fourth-placed Catalans Dragons play fifth-placed Leeds, also at Warrington, in the other elimination play-off 24 hours later, with Wigan and St Helens awaiting the winners in the semi-finals on November 19 and 20.
Huddersfield, who finished seventh, are on stand-by for this week’s ties in case of an outbreak of Covid-19 but, as part of a contingency plan, the RFL says possible reserve dates have been agreed with Sky.
Clubs can ask for a postponement if they can prove a minimum of seven players are unavailable through positive Covid-19 tests or track and trace protocols and the decision will be made by the RFL board.
If a club is unable to play either on the scheduled date or any of the reserve dates, which are expected to be next weekend, they will then be replaced by the Giants, who will report for training as normal on Monday and undergo testing along with the other six clubs.
The RFL says if two clubs are unable to play Huddersfield will replace one of them and the other elimination play-off will be a walkover.
Reserve dates have also been set aside in case any of the four clubs who qualify for the semi-finals (Wigan, St Helens and the two elimination play-off winners) are unable to play on the scheduled date.
If a club is unable to play either on the scheduled date or any of the reserve dates, they will be replaced by the highest-ranked loser from the elimination play-offs and, if two clubs are unable to play, both elimination play-off losers will be recalled to the series.
The RFL has revealed the semi-final losers will remain on stand-by in case either of the Grand Finalists are unable to play.
There is no reserve date for the Grand Final as clubs have stipulated that the season must finish on November 27.
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