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Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls set for Odsal clash

Another pre-season fixture has been added to the calendar with both Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls confirming that they will face off against each other at Odsal in late January.

It had already been confirmed that Leeds would face Wakefield in the traditional Boxing Day clash, whilst the Bulls had confirmed games against both Featherstone and Dewsbury for January.

The two West Yorkshire clubs will meet to contest the Keith Howards Trophy on Sunday 28th January at the Bulls’ Odsal home, giving fans a chance to relive the once iconic rivalry when the Bulls were still a Super League force.

The Rhinos shared the news via their website, releasing the following statement.

“Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls will meet again this pre-season to contest the Keith Howard Trophy on Sunday 28th January at Odsal Stadium, kick off 3pm.

“The two rivals will lock horns once more in a pre-season fixture ahead of the start of the eagerly anticipated 2024 season, which sees Eamon O’Carroll at the helm for the first time as the Bulls.

“2024 is the 20th anniversary of an epic season when Leeds and Bradford went toe to toe for the Super League title with Danny McGuire and Lesley Vainikolo battling it out at the top of the try scorers charts and some unforgettable games between the West Yorkshire rivals. Whilst the Bulls will be aiming to return to the top flight in the New Year, Rohan Smith will be preparing his side to challenge for a return to the Grand Final as they build up their pre-season preparations at Odsal.

“The two clubs have had a partnership for the last two years taking Rugby League to young people of the region, together with a number of diversity, equality and sustainability programmes and messages. The work is supported by the Keith Howard Foundation, the Foundation was established in 2008 by the late Dr Keith Howard OBE, a philanthropist and businessman who was raised in Yorkshire. Keith was extremely passionate about supporting local charities in Yorkshire and creating a wide range of opportunities for various communities. His family, who are equally as passionate about the community and wider impact, continue his legacy today through the Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has granted over £16 million to local charities.

“As part of the initiative, Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls now meet annually in a pre-season clash to contest The Keith Howard Foundation Trophy.”

A Bradford Bulls club spokesperson said, “Following last season’s pre-season fixture at AMT Headingley, the Bradford Bulls are delighted to host our friends and rivals, Leeds Rhinos at our historic Odsal Stadium home ahead of our eagerly anticipated 2024 season.

“This annual fixture is a clear demonstration of the continuing, developing and mutually beneficial Club, Foundation and Community relationship we have with the Rhinos.”

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