The #Super League's 'Magic Weekend' starts tomorrow and will feature all twelve sides currently in #Rugby league's top division. Unlike the action during the rest of the season, all of the matches will be played at the one ground over two days, with St. James' Park in Newcastle being the chosen venue this year.
It is a weekend that many rugby league supporters look forward to, representing a unique occasion and a great opportunity for the sport to showcase itself to fans in new locations. The event demonstrates the forward-thinking and novel approach that rugby league's administrators have adopted as they seek to draw in a wider audience. In previous years the event has been held in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.
There are a number of intriguing pairings over the weekend, with top of the table clashes, local rivalries and even a bit of Gallic flair from the Catalans Dragons thrown in. Some may question the fairness of the fixtures, with every point crucial this season, but few doubt the clever concept.
Saturday, 30th May
Salford v Widnes (2:30pm)
Despite the death of their father earlier this week, the Griffin brothers have made themselves available for Salford. Darrell, Josh and George could play in a competitive first team match for the first time and have tweeted that they will play "in memory of him."
Widnes look set to name an unchanged squad from that which overcame Wakefield last time out.
Hull FC v Hull KR (4:45pm)
Hull KR beat their local rivals 20-6 earlier this season. With both sides locked on 12 points in the league, whoever wins would also have bragging rights in terms of the league standings.
Hull FC welcome back Joe Westerman and Tom Lineham from injury.
Hull KR look set to give Tony Puletua his debut, after joining on loan from Salford until the end of the season.
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors (7pm)
Leeds sit on top of the table, but know that the Warriors have been closing the gap in recent weeks and would be just two points behind them with a win. Jamie Jones-Buchanan may return for Leeds after injury to make his 350th career appearance.
Wigan will be smarting after their heavy loss to Catalans last week. They will replace Rhodri Lloyd with Connor Farrell.
Sunday, 31st May
Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants (1pm)
Away from their home 'fortress' in France, Catalans are a slightly more unpredictable outfit. They will also be weakened by Jeff Lima's suspension and injuries to Vincent Duport, Ben Pomeroy and Ben Garcia.
The Giants will want to maintain their top four place and two point advantage over their opposition. They will welcome back Jamie Ellis into their squad for the game.
St Helens v Warrington Wolves (3:15pm)
Saints are second in the league, three points behind Leeds. Warrington sit just outside the top-four places and will be looking for the points to boost their play-off hopes.
Saints' squad will benefit from the end of skipper Jon Wilkin's suspension and also seem likely to bring in 19-year-old Olly Davies.
Joel Monaghan's hip problems seem to have eased, so expect him to return for the Wolves, as they seek to maintain their 'Magic Weekend' supremacy over their old foes.
Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (5:30pm)