A clash between Bradford Bulls and reigning Champions St Helens will kick-off Tetley’s Bitter Super League VI, on Friday March 2nd 2001.

The game – which is a repeat of last season’s thrilling Qualifying play-off – will take place at the Bulls’ new home, Valley Parade (Bradford City AFC) and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

It is one of the opening 6 fixtures in the 2001 campaign, which comprises a 28 Round regular season culminating in a Top 5 Play-Off series. The Tetley’s Bitter Super League Grand Final takes place at Old Trafford, Manchester on Saturday October 13th.

The other Round 1 match to be shown live on Sky Sports on opening weekend will be London Broncos v Leeds Rhinos. That will take place at The Valley on Saturday March 3rd 2001.

The format of the Tetley’s Bitter Super League VI regular season fixtures is as follows.

Clubs will play each other home and away once and then play a further 6 games. The format for these fixtures will see clubs who finished in the top 6 positions in last year’s competition playing against each other and the clubs who finished in the lower half of the table will meet each other.

Commenting on the new fixtures, Chris Caisley, Chairman of Super League (Europe) ltd said, ‘Every club in the Tetley’s Bitter Super League is already preparing hard for the 2001 campaign. Next year some of the world’s greatest players will be part of the competition and that is a thrilling prospect.

‘It will be tremendous to see homegrown stars such as Sean Long, Chev Walker, Kieron Cunningham and Stuart Fielden locking horns with the likes of Jason Smith (Hull FC) Brad Clyde, Brett Mullins and Tonie Carroll (Leeds Rhinos) and Richie Barnett, Jason Hetherington and Jim Dymock (London Broncos), to name but a few.

‘I’m sure the battle for Top 5 places will be truly fierce’.

Caisley added, ‘The way the extra 6 games have been drawn will have an ‘equalisation’ effect as the regular season progresses and that will add greatly to the excitement’.

Chris Caisley also added, ‘Super League (Europe) Limited will shortly be entering into discussions with relevant parties including the RFL’s Performance Director and the Director of Rugby.

These talks will consider the best type of representative games which might be played, in addition to Super League, in order to aid the Great Britain team in their build up to next year’s Ashes series against Australia.’

During the 2001 season, Sky Sports will continue to televise Tetley’s Bitter Super League matches on Fridays (Kick Off 8.00 PM) and Saturdays (Kick Off 6.00 PM).

Looking ahead to the 2001 campaign, Sponsorship Manager for Tetley’s Bitter Gareth Roberts commented,

‘Following a fantastic first season as title sponsors of the Tetley’s Bitter Super League, Tetley’s are looking forward to continuing its involvement in the coming season. The Tetley’s Bitter Super League has the potential to top last seasons high standard of competition with a number of high profile, world class players joining a spread of the premier clubs this year.

‘It’s a very exciting prospect to build on the success of last season and be part of what potentially could be the best Super League season ever’.

Commenting on the new season, Neville Smith of Sky Sports, said: ‘The World Cup may only just be over but we are really looking forward to the sixth season of Super League.

With this new structure, there should be even more close-fought battles at the close of the regular season and our coverage will also have a new look with brand new graphics and the most extensive line-up of games ever.’

For further information please contact:
Andrew Whitelam
Tel: 0113 244 1114
Fax: 0113 2441110
Mobile: 0370 993366