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ESL Round 1 Preview
This Friday Night Engage Super League XI kicks off when newly promoted Castleford Tigers entertain Challenge Cup holders, Hull FC. The following day sees two new Super League clubs make their debut when Harlequins RL, the former London Broncos, host this seasons favourites St Helens at the famous Twickenham Stoop. That same evening across the Channel, in the South of France, Les Catalans Dragons welcome the Wigan Warriors.
On Sunday sees the completion of Round 1 when World and Super League Champions Bradford Bulls make the journey to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Meanwhile last seasons Challenge Cup and Super League Runners-up, the Leeds Rhinos, look forward to the visit of the Huddersfield Giants at the newly named Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Across the M62 in Cheshire, Warrington Wolves (this season?s dark horse) play the Salford City Reds in the final match of the round.
As the salary cap and the controversial 20/20 rule starts to bite, this years Super League promises to be the closest ever. During the close season quite a number of clubs have recruited well-known British and NRL players, which will make this years competition the most exciting season since the inception of summer rugby.
It is very encouraging that most clubs have reported increased season ticket sales with this extra revenue is appears that rugby league at club level in the Northern hemisphere is looking stronger than ever.