Super League will blast back into action with a triple header on August 2 – after a warning from Wigan star Jackson Hastings about playing multiple matches at one ground.
The competition has confirmed its return to action with a revamped fixture list and a Grand Final pushed back to an as yet unconfirmed date and venue in late November.
The clubs will play a total of 22 rounds with the play-offs reduced to four teams using traditional semi-finals.
The season restarts with three matches in one day at an unspecified ground expected to be Headingley, with Hull KR kicking off against Toronto before St Helens play Catalans and Huddersfield take on Leeds.
But current Steve Prescott Man of Steel Hastings says player welfare needs to be considered with pitches, after two Sydney Roosters players yesterday (Friday) suffered season-ending cruciate ligament injuries while the NRL uses a limited number of stadiums.
Hastings tweeted: “Hope Super League are watching this. So many ACL’s, hammy tears etc.
“So many games on one field is a recipe for disaster it’s hard to watch. Player welfare has to come into consideration.”
After the game the Roosters made a formal complaint about the state of the Bankwest Stadium pitch following the injuries to Victor Radley and Sam Verrills.
With Super League’s full fixture list still to be confirmed, it’s unclear how many double and triple headers will take place, although a reduced number of stadiums will be used while clubs play behind closed doors.
The competition has insisted that it will prioritise the safety of players, officials and club staff alongside public health.
Details over the completion of the Challenge Cup have still to be confirmed, while the 2021 season will kick off later than usual due to this year’s delayed finish.
Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said: “We will continue to follow government advice and work alongside the RFL, clinical advisors and ground safety personnel to ensure that when the time comes, Super League is ready to welcome back its fans at the first opportunity.
“Whilst the recent government announcements underline increasing optimism, the pandemic remains unpredictable. Our final fixture schedule needs to respond to opportunities that will unfold over the coming weeks and accordingly, full details of fixtures, venues and season structure will be confirmed as they become known.”
Super League return fixtures: August 2 – Hull KR v Toronto Wolfpack (1pm), St Helens v Catalans Dragons (4:15pm), Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos (6:30pm)
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