HALIFAX have been handed an immediate chance to gain revenge for their heavy Co-operative Championship play-off defeat at the hands of Grand Final winners Sheffield Eagles.

Coach Karl Harrison’s men will open their 2013 campaign with a clash against the South Yorkshire side in front of the Premier Sports cameras at The Shay on Thursday, January 31.

It will be Halifax’s first competitive fixture since their 2012 season came crashing to an end with a 54-12 defeat to the eventual competition winners.

And with Halifax the defending Northern Rail Cup champions and the Eagles the League champions, the season’s opener promises to be an explosive affair.

Halifax are part of a new-look 14-team Championship which will deliver 26 rounds in the regular season, with the fixtures released this morning.

Other big home fixtures are against minor champions Featherstone Rovers on Sunday, July 14, and the other West Yorkshire derbies against Keighley (Sunday, February 17), Dewsbury (Thursday, March 28) and Batley (Sunday, August 18).

Halifax’s first away game is at Workington on Sunday, February 10.