Details of the 2023 Magic Weekend have been confirmed as the concept’s time enters its last few chapters before the IMG proposals see to its conclusion.
The 2023 edition will take place on the first weekend of June and will once more be held at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park after 43,119 fans flocked there yesterday to enjoy England’s brilliant 60-6 win over Samoa to open the Rugby League World Cup.
The fixtures have also been released which will all be shown live on Sky Sports on the 3rd and 4th of June.
The highlights amongst them see Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers meet in a West Yorkshire derby which will again likely be a big clash in the race for play-off rugby. Meanwhile, Tony Smith’s Hull FC side take on one of his former clubs in the shape of the Warrington Wolves.
Many of the fixtures aren’t “traditional” Magic Weekend clashes with St Helens set to battle Huddersfield whilst rivals Wigan meet Catalans – both games which could show us who are likely to be title challengers in 2023.
This is because the fixtures have once again been determined by last season’s positions on the table.
This sees Salford and Hull KR lock horns as well as Leigh vs Wakefield in a game many already expect to be vital in the battle at the bottom.
In a statement released today, Super League said:
On the back of a hugely successful RLWC2021 opening fixture yesterday, Super League can confirm that the 16th Magic Weekend will take place at St James’ Park, Newcastle on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June, 2023.
Newcastle has become a favourite with Magic Weekend attendees and will host the event for a record seventh time.
The weekend will get under way with a repeat of the 2019 Magic fixture between Hull KR and Salford Red Devils (13:30). The game at Anfield was a close one with KR winning by a two-point margin and it promises to be another evenly fought contest in 2023.
Wigan Warriors will then take on Catalans Dragons (15:45) in the middle game on the opening day. This will be the first time these two sides have met at Magic.
The Saturday will conclude with a West Yorkshire derby between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers (18:00).
Newly promoted Leigh Centurions return to the Magic Weekend line-up for their third appearance and will open up things on Sunday when they take on Wakefield Trinity (12:30).
Reigning Betfred Super League champions St Helens play Huddersfield Giants (14:45) for the second time at Magic. They met once before back in 2016 when the Giants put in a dominant display to win 48-20.
The final game of the weekend sees Tony Smith’s Hull FC face one of his old clubs in Warrington Wolves (17:00).
Rhodri Jones, chief commercial officer at Super League said: “We are delighted to announce the return of Magic Weekend to Newcastle. It is a firm favourite with fans and a date that players look forward to in the calendar.
“I’d also like to thank Sky Sports, Newcastle United and Newcastle City Council for their continued support of the event.”
Cllr Lesley Storey, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a Vibrant City, said: “I’m delighted that Magic Weekend will once again be taking place in our city in 2023.
“Nowhere else has built up such a formidable relationship with Super League’s in-season showpiece event like we have in Newcastle, and it always delivers a memorable weekend for supporters and our residents alike.
“There are some fantastic fixtures to look forward to for Magic Weekend 2023 and I can’t wait to see the fans flock here in their thousands.”
Newcastle United CEO, Darren Eales, said: “Magic Weekend has been a huge success at St. James’ Park and we are delighted to be welcoming the event back for the seventh time.
“We want to continue attracting major events to the stadium and I’d like to thank Super League, our team at Newcastle United and our partners across the city for their ongoing support.”
2023 Magic Weekend Fixtures in full (all live on Sky Sports):
Saturday 3 June
Salford Red Devils v Hull KR (13:30)
Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons (15:45)
Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers (18:00)
Sunday 4 June
Wakefield Trinity v Leigh Centurions (12:30)
St Helens v Huddersfield Giants (14:45)
Hull FC v Warrington Wolves (17:00)
Tickets for the 2023 Magic Weekend will go on sale on Sunday 23 October via superleague.co.uk