LEIGH Centurions host Whitehaven in the opening round of Betfred Championship season at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday 29 January 2022, with a 3pm kick off.

Head of Rugby Chris Chester said: “It’s a tough start against a good Whitehaven side who finished the 2021 season strongly. The Betfred Championship will be very competitive next season and there won’t be any easy games.”

The full Betfred Championship fixtures will be announced tomorrow, Sunday, at 3pm.

Then on Sunday January 30 there are five games including high-profile opposition from Widnes Vikings for London Broncos in their first match at The Cherry Red Records Stadium, the home of AFC Wimbledon formerly known as Plough Lane.

Barrow Raiders and Workington Town, the two clubs promoted from Betfred League 1 in 2021, open up with home games in Cumbria against Sheffield Eagles and Newcastle Thunder respectively, while Dewsbury Rams host Bradford Bulls and Batley Bulldogs face Halifax Panthers in a meeting of the two teams who came within 80 minutes of the Million Pound Game in 2021.

Sheffield Eagles requested a delay before their first home game as work continues on Olympic Legacy Park, so they have been scheduled four away fixtures before they host Workington Town on Sunday March 6.

The Betfred League 1 season kicks off on Saturday March 26, with London Skolars hosting Hunslet, before Midlands Hurricanes make their debut at Doncaster the following day.

The Hurricanes are one of two new names in the competition in 2022, following the rebrand of the Coventry Bears, and will play their first game at Portway, the Birmingham ground they will share this season, against Swinton Lions on April 3.

The other newcomers, Cornwall, have a bye on the opening weekend then kick off against North Wales Crusaders at Stadiwm Zip World in Colwyn Bay on Saturday April 2, before they welcome Midlands Hurricanes for their first home game on Sunday April 10.

Opening fixtures 2022

Betfred Championship

Saturday January 29: Leigh Centurions v Whitehaven (3pm)

Sunday January 30: Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles (3pm), Batley Bulldogs v Halifax Panthers (3pm), Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls (3pm), London Broncos v Widnes Vikings (3pm), Workington Town v Newcastle Thunder (2pm)

Monday January 31: York City Knights v Featherstone Rovers (745pm – LIVE ON PREMIER SPORTS)

Betfred League 1

Round One

Saturday March 26: London Skolars v Hunslet (3pm)

Sunday March 27: Doncaster v Midlands Hurricanes (3pm), Oldham v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Rochdale Hornets v North Wales Crusaders (3pm), Swinton Lions v West Wales Raiders (3pm)