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Rugby League: Gateshead's debut

GATESHEAD THUNDER will begin life in Super League with a home match against Leeds on the first Sunday of fixtures next season while Wakefield Trinity, promoted to Super League this week, start with a local derby at Castleford the same day, 7 March.

The champions, Wigan, open the season with the Friday night fixture against Hull two days earlier.

Other features of the 30-game programme are the revival of Easter Monday fixtures, a round of games on the May Day holiday, two days after the Challenge Cup final, and a sprinkling of midweek games.