Leeds Rhinos explain nine-week absence of home games

Leeds Rhinos have outlined just why the club has a nine-week break away from Headingley in the 2022 Super League season.

In those nine weeks, the Rhinos will play six games on the road between May 20th and July 21st.

The club outline that this is due to pitch renovation as well as a ‘large event’.

A Leeds statement reads:

The year will end with the return of the Rugby League World Cup to Headingley with the stadium hosting more games than any other venue across the mens, womens and wheelchair combined competition. As the club look to tackle the financial challenges presented by the global pandemic over the last two years, the Rhinos are looking to utilise their brand new facilities, fully opened just before Covid hit, with a large stadium event during the summer too.

With Womens, Reserve and Academy rugby returning to Headingley as well in 2022 it is building up to be an epic season. The last two years has seen Headingley step up as one of the main venues during the behind closed doors periods in 2020 and 2021 which meant the annual pitch renovations in those years had to be postponed. This year, the stadium pitch will have an overdue pitch renovation immediately following the large stadium event to make sure it is the best possible condition for the Rhinos and importantly to host the Rugby League World Cup fixtures next Autumn.

Stadium Operations Director Sue Ward commented, “2022 is going to be a huge year and we are really excited to be opening up Headingley Stadium to the world once again. Obviously we are a multi sport venue which presents its own challenges and always rules out the use of the stadium on certain weekends of the year. We are planning to host a large stadium event on either the weekends of Round 14 or 15 and the pitch renovation will begin immediately following this.

“The six round period which excludes a home game between June and mid-July includes the Magic Weekend. We had made Headingley available for Round 19 but the complexities of the fixture calculations means we are away at Toulouse so we will return to Headingley for one of our biggest games of any season; the visit of Wigan in Round 20 on 21st July.”

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