HUDDERSFIELD Giants are geared up for an explosive start to Super League XV!
In a repeat of their first Super League home game on April 3, 1998, the Giants will host Bradford Bulls in their opening fixture to a top-flight campaign on Friday, February 5, 2010.
The match kicks off at 8pm and will be shown live on Sky TV, a fact which underlines Huddersfield’s growing status in the competition as it the first game to be screened live by the satellite broadcasters in the regular rounds of the season.
Sky will show Super League matches involving Leeds and Harlequins the weekend before on January 30 and 31 to free-up space in the calendar for Australian NRL champions Melbourne Storm to face the Quins in a warm-up game ahead of their World Club Challenge against the Rhinos on Sunday, February 28.
But Sky are always keen to show a plum clash to announce the arrival of their regular weekend coverage, and believe a West Yorkshire derby between the Giants – who finished a best-ever third in Super League last season – and the rejuvenated Bradford Bulls perfectly fits the bill.
It obviously promises to be a big opening test for Nathan Brown’s men, with the Bulls having recruited well during the off season to bring in the likes of top Australian NRL stars Matt Orford, Glenn Hall, Heath l’Estrange and Brett Kearney.
However, it’s just the start of a blockbusting opening for the Giants at the Galpharm.
In the second home game of the campaign on Sunday, February 28, Huddersfield host Warrington Wolves, giving the Giants the chance to gain revenge for their Challenge Cup defeat at Wembley on August 29.
Then, two weeks later, it’s a home test against Super League champions Leeds Rhinos before they entertain beaten Grand Finalists St Helens on Sunday, March 28.
Sandwiched between the Leeds game are two away trips in front of the Sky TV cameras at Wakefield on Saturday, March 6 and Harlequins 14 days later. Huddersfield’s next home televised clash is against Castleford Tigers on Friday, April 9.
That’s a week after the Giants have played their Good Friday fixture at home to Catalans and then their visit to Salford on Easter Monday.
It’s possible the Giants may feature in more Sky games later in the season, but that obviously depends on which sides are involved in the end-of-season play-offs.
They get under way in the second week of September, with Huddersfield’s final game of the regular season at Catalans Dragons on Saturday, September 4.
Next season’s Magic Weekend in Edinburgh is on the weekend of May 1 and 2, with the draw being made live on Sky Sports News this afternoon (after 1pm).
The Giants enter the Carnegie Challenge Cup at the fourth-round stage on the weekend of April 17 and 18, with the final on Saturday, August 28.