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This season's Super League season kicks off on Sunday, with a re-scheduled Round 3 clash between champions St Helens and their Challenge Cup Final opponents Huddersfield Giants. This opening match has been moved forward to accommodate the World Club Challenge match between St Helens and Brisbane Broncos to be played later in February.
The remaining teams will play their first match in Super League during Round One between 9-11 February, and friendlies (trial games) have been underway since Boxing Day. So over the next twelve days we will preview what the season has in store for each of the clubs, and what's been going on since the end of a season where St Helens won the Grand Final, League and Cup treble.
This season the Super League and RFL have agreed to hold one round's worth of games all in Cardiff, in a weekend dubbed "Millennium Magic" in early May. The clubs have also agreed to cut the number of rounds by one to allow a Great Britain v New Zealand test to be played on a weekend free of club commitments in late June. And after a false start last season, the Challenge Cup Final is definitely locked in for London's new Wembley Stadium in late August.
It will be a long season - 27 rounds, plus 5 weekends for Challenge Cup fixtures, 1 weekend for the international game, and 4 weeks of play-offs will mean that some of Super League's top players may play as many as 37 games - and that's not including the end of season test series and tour by New Zealand! And it starts here...
For an overview of all the team's squads, see Evil Hopmer's thread in the forums here.
And more to come...