Magic Weekend moves back to the Millennium

Next season will start with a weekend of seven matches at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the Rugby League has announced.

The Magic Weekend is returning to its original home, albeit in February rather than on the May bank holiday weekend over which it has been played in both Cardiff and Edinburgh.

"The stadium's closed roof means that fans can watch all seven matches in comfort," said Super League's director of events, Sally Bolton.

The event is returning to Cardiff after two years at Murrayfield. Slowly shrinking attendances for the weekend have persuaded clubs to try it as a curtain-raiser for the season. The fixture format for the matches on 12-13 February is yet to be announced, but it is thought there will be a return to being based on local derbies.

Turning to this weekend, Wigan will carry off the prize they have earned by their consistency this season if they can beat Huddersfield tomorrow night. Victory at the DW Stadium will guarantee them the League Leaders Shield and first place going into the play-offs, having lost just four Super League games so far.

They will have to do it without Martin Gleeson, who is recuperating after a hernia operation. That could mean a chance for Stefan Marsh, recalled from his loan at Widnes this week, though Karl Pryce is also in the squad.

The Giants, secure in a play-off spot, can call on their strongest squad for weeks, with Brett Hodgson, Keith Mason, David Fa'alogo and Luke Robinson ready to return.

Salford, at home to Hull KR, have continued their ambitious recruitment for next season by signing Iafeta Palea'aesina from Wigan and the Wakefield hooker, Tevita Leo-Latu, who is a direct replacement for Malcolm Alker when he retires from playing to concentrate on coaching.

Jason Demetriou will play his final home game for Wakefield against the Challenge Cup finalists, Warrington. The 35-year-old Australian has not been offered a contract for next season, after six years with the club.

In today's Super League fixture in Perpignan, the Catalan Dragons and Harlequins can go a long way towards determining which of them will finish bottom of the table. Quins have Luke Williamson, out with a foot injury since June, back in their pack.

The other French side competing in Britain, Toulouse Olympique, can cling to their hopes of making the Championship play-offs if they win at Leigh this evening. A point against York tomorrow will get the South Wales Scorpions into the Championship 1 play-offs at their first attempt. Hunslet will clinch first place in the division if they win at Blackpool.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen