The Toronto Wolfpack return Aug. 2 when they play Hull Kingston Rovers after being sidelined since March 11 due to the global pandemic.
The Super League announced Friday the transatlantic rugby league team will be one of six clubs in action as the sport resumes with a triple-header at an English neutral venue before empty stands.
The Toronto game will be the first of the three matches, kicking off at 1 p.m. local time. St. Helens will take on the Catalans Dragons in a 4:15 p.m. start with the Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos kicking off at 6:30 p.m.
The league has yet to announce the site. All 12 teams will be in action the next weekend (Aug. 8-9).
The resumption of play will mark the end of a 140-day hiatus for the competition.
The Wolfpack (0-6-0 in their first season in Super League) have not played since March 11, when they blanked Huddersfield 18-0 in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup.
The revised season will comprise a further 15 rounds of action with the top four advancing to the playoffs. The semifinal winners will contest the Betfred Super League Grand Final towards the end of November.
The championship game was originally slated for Oct. 10.
Behind closed doors
“At the moment, and until government directives change, Betfred Super League fixtures will take place behind closed doors at a small number of neutral venues that meet the stringent guidance from both government and the game’s clinical advisory group,” the league said in a statement. “Super League is also closely monitoring government directives in both France and Canada.”
The hope is that fans will be allowed in the stands sooner than later, given how important gate revenue is to Super League teams.
Travel issues and quarantines are some of the other hurdles that will have to be overcome before Toronto fans see live action.
Under the original schedule, Aug. 2 would have marked the 23rd of Toronto’s 29 regular-season games. The Wolfpack’s home opener at Lamport Stadium had been slated for April 18.
The regular season was originally slated to end Sept. 11.
With the 2020 season finishing more than two months later than normal, clubs have agreed to start the 2021 season later than usual. This season kicked off Jan. 30.