Immediate rematch for Bradford and Wigan

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Bradford will begin the defence of their Super League title at Wigan, the side they beat in last season's Grand Final, on the opening night of the new campaign.

The Bulls will go to the JJB Stadium on 1 March, with newly promoted Widnes featuring in the second televised game on Sky Sports the following evening, when their neighbours, St Helens, are the visitors.

The fixture list includes a blank weekend set aside for two County of Origin matches between Lancashire and Yorkshire on 14 and 18 June. The programme also allows for Great Britain to play Australia in Sydney on 12 July, but there is also a full line-up of Super League matches that weekend.

Clubs will again play 28 games, the six extra being made up of five against the teams who finished in the same half of last season's table and one from the other half. The season will end with a six-team play off, as opposed to the five involved in previous years.

Wigan have confirmed the signing of the Rochdale Hornets prop forward, Danny Sculthorpe, on a three year deal. The younger brother of St Helens' and Great Britain's Paul Sculthorpe, he was the vice-captain of the recent Great Britain Under-21 tour to South Africa.

"He leaves with our blessing and we have no doubt that he will end up in the full Great Britain team," the Rochdale Hornets chairman, Ray Taylor, said.

Taylor's Wigan counterpart, Maurice Lindsay, said: "Danny will be an important addition to our first team squad this year and will add to competition for places in the front row."

Hornets have signed the fiery Halifax forward, Paul Davidson, as a replacement for Sculthorpe, while Huddersfield have taken the Leeds three-quarter, David Foster, on a month's loan.