In a groundbreaking initiative it has just been announced that Wigan Warriors will face Hull FC in Australia for the opening Super League 2018 fixture.

RLFANS.COM understand that the two sides will each play a pre-season friendly against NRL opposition following the meeting at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday 10th February in a Super League fixture.
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The Rugby Football League have released the fixtures for the Super 8’s which could see Castleford Tigers crowned as Minor Premiers as early as Round 3 when they have a home game against Wakefield Trinity.

SKY will be showing two games per round from the Super League Super 8s, along with at least one from the Qualifiers, although some games later in the season are still to be selected. All Catalans Dragons home games will also be shown live.
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So we’ve reached the great divide, and the split into five divisions has taken place. But what actually happens now?

It's pretty complicated but we will try to simplify it here to assist your enjoyment over the rest of the season, and hopefully spike your interest in what is going on in the competitions where your own club doesn't have a direct interest.

Across five new competitions there is everything to play for.
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Wakefield Trinity have announced that they have strengthened their squad through the signing of Newcastle Knights hooker Tyler Randell.

Randell will join Chris Chester's side ready for pre-season training and is expected to play a major role in the Trinity 2018 campaign.

Signed on a two year deal it will be the twenty-four year olds first exposure to the British game after spending his whole career, since his 2014 debut, at the Knights.
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With Hull KR, London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers already secure in the Middle Eights competition, all eyes were on Halifax and Toulouse to see who would join them to play against Warrington, Catalans, Leigh and Widnes.

Toulouse welcomed Featherstone to the south of France on Saturday knowing that they needed to win, and then hope that Halifax failed to get a point at home against Hull KR.

London ended the regular part of the season against Batley while the other sides were jostling for position. Swinton visited Bradford, Sheffield were at Dewsbury and there was a Pennine derby as Oldham took on Rochdale.
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The last game before the split into the Super Eights for the runaway leaders Castleford Tigers saw them take their hoard of fans to the south of France sunshine for a game against the Catalans Dragons.

The league leaders could go ten points clear of the chasers with a win, just two wins away from securing the Minor Premiership with seven games to play. The home side had nothing to play for but pride and a little bit of form going into the Middle Eights competition where they will be fighting for their Super League survival.

Castleford were the strong favourites with the bookies but the partisan home crowd hoped that they were wrong and that their side could spring a surprise.
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A vastly weakened Leeds Rhinos side with one eye on next weekend’s Challenge Cup final against Hull FC made the trip over the Pennines to take on a strong looking Wigan Warriors side who are also in Cup action against Salford Red Devils a week on Sunday.

The bookies gave the second placed Rhinos absolutely no chance of taking the two points, and handed them a twenty point start on the coupon, despite the Rhinos winning the game at Headingley earlier in the season by 26-18.

A win for the Rhinos would come close to killing off and aspirations that eighth placed Wigan might have of a top four finish, but a home victory would put them right in the mix.
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The opening game of round twenty-three of Super League, the last before the split into the Super Eights, saw a dead rubber game between two sides who were simply looking for form going into the middle eights competition.

Warrington Wolves were guaranteed ninth spot and four home games, while Widnes were likely to finish eleventh and couldn't manage any better.

The Wolves won the game in Widnes back in April by 19-10, and their home game in the cup by 34-20, but both sides wanted the confidence boost that a win would bring.
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First versus third for the Sky Friday night fixture, that would either extend Castleford’s lead at the top of the table or guarantee a top four slot for the Devils moving into the Super 8’s. The pressure was certainly on Salford having lost four from their last five, could they bounce back from a heavy defeat at Headingley the week before? A dry start promised a fast game perfect for the Greg Eden to add to his try scoring tally for the season.

With the end of the first phase of the league only one week away it promised to be a competitive game. It was an opportunity for Salford to steady the nerves going in to the Super 8’s
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Anything other than a victory for the Warrington Wolves would condemn them to the middle eight’s and seven games of anguish to fight for their Super League lives. While tonight’s opponents Wigan Warriors are already safely in the Super Eights a win would get them within just two points of fourth placed Hull FC.

This is the fourth meeting of the season between these two great sides with the Warriors having won comfortably in the league but by just a single point in the Challenge Cup. The sides also fought out a dramatic draw at the Magic Weekend in Newcastle.
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