Former Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants set for first hit out with new side in friendly against Championship side

Newcastle Thunder will host newly promoted Championship side Keighley Cougars in pre-season, as the two clubs confirm details of a friendly in January.

Set for Saturday, January 14 and kicking off at 4:30pm at Kingston Park, the fixture will be Thunder’s first hit-out under new head coach Chris Thorman formerly of Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC.

The Cougars have made some big statements going into their first season in the Championship following promotion with the signings of stars from Leigh Leopards and other Super League clubs including Hull KR man Ben Crooks meaning this could be his debut.

The friendly will also provide both clubs an opportunity to size each other up ahead of the round three fixture on Sunday February 13, when Newcastle Thunder travel to Cougar Park.

The Cougars, who face Castleford Tigers at Cougar Park in Jake Webster’s Testimonial the following weekend, will visit Kingston Park to face Chris Thorman’s side in mid-January.

The trip to Kingston Park is scheduled for Saturday 14th January with a 4:30pm-kick off.

This will be the first of three meetings between the two in 2023, with the two sides set to face off in the Betfred Championship in February at Cougar Park and once again at Kingston Park in June.

The friendly will also serve as the first meeting between the two clubs for nearly three years.

The last was the now famous Betfred Challenge Cup meeting in the mud at Cougar Park back in February 2020 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic which would curtail that particular season.

Thunder would be promoted later that year after being elected by the Rugby Football League to take the available spot left in the Championship following the withdrawal of the Toronto Wolfpack from the league structure.

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