Leeds Rhinos to battle rivals in pre-season friendly as former star players set to take on former club

Bradford Bulls will make the short trip to Headingley Stadium to face Leeds Rhinos for the inaugural Keith Howard Foundation Trophy match on Sunday 29th January 2023 with the game kicking off at 2:30pm.

It will follow the Rhinos’ clash against Super League rivals Leigh Leopards a week earlier away at Leigh Sports Village.

The Rhinos begin pre-season against Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day but the highlight could be a clash which sees them renew rivals with Bradford Bulls on the 29th January.

Leeds begin their season away at Warrington Wolves on 16th February.

They have met Warrington in Round One in 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2016.

They played away at the Halliwell Jones in 2018 and 2019 winning on one occasion and losing the other.

The Rhinos have not met Bradford at Headingley since their clash in Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Rob Burrow’s testimonial clash after Burrow was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

They met last year at Odsal.

Two decades ago, Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls fought out an epic period on and off the field between 2003 and 2005 with two Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup Final meeting but now the two clubs are coming together to promote the game of Rugby League to a new generation between the two West Yorkshire cities.

The initiative will focus on taking Rugby League to young people of the region, together with a number of diversity, equality and sustainability programmes and messages. The work will be 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 £16million to local charities.

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

Tickets for the Keith Howard Foundation Trophy Match will go on sale at 10am on Thursday 15th December. Tickets are available to all fans from this date and all areas of the ground will be open for this match excluding the Global East Stand seats which will be closed.

Off-season signings Jack Walker and Bodene Thompson will return to familiar territory, having left the blue and amber to join Mark Dunning’s Bradford Bulls.

Both the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Bradford Bulls Foundation will be using the game to work with clubs and schools in the area and money raised from these ticket sales will be invested back into the joint project between Leeds and Bradford.

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