Why Leeds Rhinos received bonus fixture news as Rohan Smith’s side face tough start and family feud

Leeds Rhinos know more about their fixtures for 2023 than anyone else.

The Rhinos know five of their 27 fixtures whilst most clubs only know four.

Leeds are aware that they’ll meet local rivals Castleford Tigers at the Magic Weekend as well as Huddersfield Giants in the Rivals Round on Easter Sunday.

Meanwhile, Leeds, like all clubs, confirmed their first home game will be against Hull FC in Round Two.

As other clubs confirmed their first home games, the Rhinos were pencilled in for a Round One clash against Warrington Wolves in the first game of the season.

However, Leeds were also confirmed as St Helens’ opponents in Round Three in their opening home fixture leaving Leeds with five pencilled in games compared to the four most teams have.

This is because St Helens aren’t set to partake in Round One of Super League over the weekend of the 17-19th February with the club expecting to be in Australia for their World Club Challenge against Penrith Panthers that weekend.

The club revealed as such on their website: “The Club and Super League continue to work with the NRL to finalise arrangements for a World Club Challenge to be held across the weekend of 18/19 February. Further announcements on this will be made in due course.”

They should have played Ian Watson’s Huddersfield Giants likely in their first home game but instead the game will have to be moved leaving Leeds as Saints’ first home fixture in a Grand Final rematch and leaving the Rhinos as the only side to know their first three fixtures.

It’s a tough start for Leeds who begin the campaign away to Daryl Powell’s new look Warrington side prior to hosting Tony Smith’s Hull FC who will be a dangerous opponent with a new spine. It’s also family affairs with Rohan Smith taking on his uncle.

Their opening three fixtures then conclude against the Champions.

Here are the opening fixtures:

Round 1:

Warrington Wolves vs Leeds Rhinos (Sky Sports)
Leigh Leopards vs Salford Red Devils (Sky Sports)
Wakefield Trinity vs Catalans Dragons
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers
Hull KR vs Wigan Warriors (Channel 4)
Penrith Panthers vs St Helens (WCC)

Round 2:

Salford Red Devils vs Hull KR (Sky Sports)
Leeds Rhinos vs Hull FC (Sky Sports)
Huddersfield Giants vs Warrington Wolves
Catalans Dragons vs Leigh Leopards
Castleford Tigers vs St Helens (Channel 4)
Wigan Warriors vs Wakefield Trinity

Round 3:

St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos (Sky Sports)

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