When is Super League 2022? Fixtures, full team-by-team guide, TV channel and how to watch rugby league live

Super League’s new season kicks off on Thursday with a grand final rematch of St Helens against Catalans, and it is those two clubs expected to fight it out for the title once again.

With Wigan rebuilding, Warrington bedding in a new coach and Leeds overhauling their halves, it is Saints and the Dragons most believe will make it to Old Trafford.

With broadcasts on Channel 4 for the first time, along with regular TV coverage on Sky Sports and radio coverage on the BBC and TalkSport, England’s premier rugby league competition will have more media spotlight than ever before.

Here’s how every team is shaping up ahead of the new season.

More from Rugby League

Castleford Tigers

With Lee Radford replacing Daryl Powell as head coach, a new era has begun at the Jungle. Joining Powell out the door has been Oliver Holmes and Peter Mataiutia, while ex-Hull FC boss Radford will rely on the likes of Jake Trueman and Paul McShane to turn the Tigers back into contenders. It could be a tough ask.

Catalans Dragons

Les Dracs enjoyed a brilliant 2021, winning the League Leader’s Shield for the first time and reaching their first-ever grand final. On paper, they look even stronger this year, with Mitchell Pearce replacing James Maloney and NRL recruits Dylan Napa and Tyrone May arriving. Will 2022 be the year of the Dragon?

Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield flattered to deceive last year and coach Ian Watson must improve his under-achieving side. The Giants have spent to bring in Theo Fages, Tui Lolohea and Chris Hill, but boast real X-factor with electrifying young fullback Will Pryce, the son of former Super League star Leon.

Hull FC

Similar to Huddersfield, the Black & Whites had a poor season and pressure is mounting on coach Brett Hodgson to turn the club around. Pre-season injuries will not help and much will rely on ageing Luke Gale, who has replaced Marc Sneyd, to revitalise the side.

Hull Kingston Rovers

The surprise package of 2021, replicating that feat this year will be difficult, but the Robins have brought in three-time premiership winner Lachlan Coote from Saints and promise to entertain. Tony Smith’s charges will be fun to watch.

Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos finished fifth last season but struggled for consistency. As is their way, the big spenders have shelled out for ex-Canberra Raiders halves Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer and brought in NRL winger David Fusitu’a. The Loiners are hoping the Antipodean troika can bring silverware back to Headingley.

Salford Red Devils

Only the dire performances of Leigh saved Salford from relegation in 2021. That cost Richard Marshall, with Paul Rowley taking over as head coach. There has been a changing of the guard at the Red Devils, with new playmakers in Brodie Croft and Sneyd joining, but another fight against relegation is likely to loom.

St Helens

No Super League side has ever won four in a row before but Saints are looking to make history, and only a brave individual would bet against them. Salary cap constraints have made them shed stars, but St Helens still boast a monster pack, a talented backline, enviable depth and big-game experience. With the arrival of Aussie trio Will Hopoate, Curtis Sironen and Joey Lussick, along with their existing spine, they remain the team to beat.

How to watch Super League on TV and Live Stream – Round one to eleven in full

Round One

  • St Helens v Catalans Dragons – Thurs 10th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Mix
  • Hull KR v Wigan Warriors – Fri 11th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Arena
  • Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves – Sat 12th Feb, 12.30pm on Channel 4
  • Toulouse Olympique v Huddersfield Giants – Sat 12th Feb, 7.00pm on Sky Sports Arena

Round Two

  • Warrington Wolves v Castleford Tigers – Thurs 17th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Mix
  • Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos – Fri 18th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Arena
  • Hull FC v St Helens – Sat 19th Feb, 12.30pm on Channel 4

Round Three

  • Leeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons – Thurs 24th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Arena
  • Hull KR v Castleford Tigers – Fri 25th Feb, 8.00pm on Sky Sports Arena

Round Four

  • Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Leeds Rhinos – Thurs 3rd March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Warrington Wolves v Catalans Dragons – Fri 4th March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports

Round Five

  • Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC – Thurs 10th March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • St Helens v Warrington Wolves – Fri 11th March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers – Sat 12th March, 3.15pm on Sky Sports

Round Six

  • Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers – Thurs 17th March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos – Fri 18th March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Warrington Wolves v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats – Sat 19th March, 12.30pm on Channel 4

Round Seven

  • Wigan Warriors v Hull FC – Thurs 31st March, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Leeds Rhinos v St Helens – Fri 1st April, 8.00pm on Sky Sports

Round Eight

  • Catalans Dragons v Toulouse Olympique – Thurs 14th April, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Hull KR v Hull FC – Fri 15th April, 3.00pm on Sky Sports

Round Nine

  • Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos – Mon 18th April, 3.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Hull FC v Warrington Wolves – Mon 18th April, 5.30pm on Sky Sports

Round Ten

  • Castleford Tigers v St Helens – Fri 22nd April, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils – Sun 24th April, 1.00pm on Channel 4
  • Hull FC v Catalans Dragons – Sun 24th April, 6.45pm on Sky Sports

Round Eleven

  • Wakefield Trinity Wild cats v Huddersfield Giants – Thurs 28th April, 8.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors – Fri 29th April, 8.00pm on Sky Sports

Magic Weekend

  • Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Toulouse Olympique – Sat 9th July, 2.30pm on Sky Sports
  • St Helens v Wigan Warriors – Sat 9th July, 4.45pm on Sky Sports
  • Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers – Sat 9th July, 7.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Huddersfield Giants v Salford Red Devils – Sun 10th July, 1.00pm on Sky Sports
  • Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Sun 10th July, 3.15pm on Sky Sports
  • Hull KR v Hull FC – Sun 10th July, 5.30pm on Sky Sports

Grand Final

  • TBC v TBC – Sat 24th Sept, 6.00pm on Sky Sports

Toulouse Olympique

Many were excited at Toulouse’s promotion into Super League, with the competition featuring two French clubs for the first time. But in true rugby league fashion, Toulouse have imploded before a ball has even been kicked with stand-off Jonathan Ford and fullback Mark Kheirallah walking out after refusing to be vaccinated. It is always a mountain to avoid immediate relegation back down, and TO XIII are facing Everest.

Wakefield Trinity

Trinity struggled in 2021 and it ended with Chris Chester’s axing, with assistant Willie Poching taking the reins. The former Leeds forward impressed at the end of last season, but most predict battlers Wakefield to be fighting against the drop this year along with Toulouse and Salford.

Warrington Wolves

With Powell headed to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington are promising a new playing style and attacking flair. Always Super League’s bridesmaids but never the bride, the Wolves will pray that the ex-Castleford coach can bring the cutting edge and finals finishing they consistently lack.

Wigan Warriors

Fourth place cost Adrian Lam his position, with young local Matt Peet promoted from within. Wigan have lost internationals Oliver Gildart and Jackson Hastings and will rely on a host of academy products to turn them back into challengers.

All change in the dugout including Wigan’s new coach with an English degree

As Super League’s campaign for 2022 gets underway more eyes will be on the coaching hot seat, with pressure increasing, churn rising and several clubs opting for local instead of foreign coaches.

When Warrington announced the appointment of Daryl Powell in April last year, as their new head coach for this season, the reign of Super League’s longest-serving boss was at an end. Castleford had hired Powell midway through 2013 and he had led the Tigers from a relegation dogfight and turned them into title contenders over a multi-year period.

Of the 11 other coaches who were at clubs nine years ago, when Powell took his place at the Jungle, not a single one is now still with the same club. Back in 2013 Tony Smith was in charge at Warrington and Richard Agar was coaching Wakefield, but fast forward and Smith is at Hull KR and Agar is now in command at Leeds.

Most of the coaches from that season either no long coach or are in positions elsewhere, with only Shaun Wane recently returning to Wigan in a backroom leadership role and ex-Rhinos gaffer Brian McDermott plying his trade in the Championship.

In the past 12 months, a staggering five of the 12 Super League clubs have changed coaches, with that figure rising to six when you included relegated Leigh, who have spun through three head coaches in just a year.

Undoubtedly, churn is on the rise. Time is no longer a commodity that teams feel they have the luxury of.

Rugby league is coming into an age of cut-throat decisions where demands for instant success and results rule the roost, much like in football. But in a salary-capped sport of finite resources, patience is a luxury few clubs can afford.

Entering the fray this season is Matt Peet at Wigan, Paul Rowley at Salford, Wille Poching at Wakefield, with former Hull FC coach Lee Radford taking the reins at Castleford, Powell swapping the Jungle for the Halliwell Jones and promoted Toulouse Olympique entering the fray with Sylvain Houles. Rowley, Peet, and Houles have all never coached in Super League before, although the Red Devils boss and the Toulouse mentor both have extensive experience in the second tier.

Perhaps most interesting is the appointment of the 37-year-old by the Warriors. Having never played professionally, and with having a university degree in English, Peet breaks the mould in rugby league, something the Wiganer freely acknowledges.

“Everyone’s really interested about the fact I did English,” he admits to i. “I was keen to do something different at that age, but I still spent most of my time reading about coaching or rugby league.

Peet welcomes the spotlight that comes with coaching one of the biggest clubs in the sport, despite it being his first senior job: “You want to do well for your own pride and for your own expectations.

“I’ve not felt yet that the pressure is any different, I’ve always had high expectations of myself and the people I work with. I understand the history of the club and that it’s results-driven, but I felt like that when I was working in the academy.”

Along with a trend towards English instead of Antipodean coaches, with seven of the 12 clubs now boasting British mentors, there is also a move towards younger trainers. Apart from Peet, Houles is 40, Radford 42, and the Airlie Bird’s Brett Hodgson 43, with no current coach over the age of 50.

Regardless of age or experience, coaching in Super League is becoming a more precarious profession. The backing of owners and fans can both be fickle, and coaching tenures are becoming shorter and shorter when relegation can mean financial oblivion.

In 2021 it took just three months for a club to sack its coach after a poor start. Odds are this year at least one another coach will face the axe in similarly ruthless fashion.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.