Super 8s: Champions St Helens away first as fixtures announced

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The time is now for the Super 8s

Champions St Helens begin the new Super 8s format with a trip to Catalans Dragons on Saturday, 8 August.

The Super League and Championship divisions have split into three groups to form the Super League, Qualifiers and Championship Shield.

The top four clubs in Super League will qualify for the play-offs and battle for a Grand Final place.

Wigan Warriors will take their game with Catalans "on the road" to Millwall's The Den on 5 September.

The top three clubs in the Qualifiers will secure a Super League spot for 2016, with the sides lying fourth and fifth facing each other in a play-off - "The Million Pound Game" - to determine next year's 12th and final top-flight team.

Meanwhile, Rugby Football League general manager Blake Solly has confirmed the winners of the League Leaders' Shield, Grand Final and Challenge Cup will contest the 2016 World Club Series in England.

Super League

St Helens v Catalans
St Helens began their regular season campaign with a home game against Catalans

In addition to Saints travelling to Catalans, regular-season Super League leaders Leeds welcome Warrington on the opening weekend, while Wigan host fellow top-four club Huddersfield.

Castleford Tigers host Hull to complete round one of the top tier's Super 8s fixtures.

With points carried over, the battle for the top four could be too much to overhaul for Catalans and Hull FC, who are eight and six points adrift before the opening round.

Stand-out fixtures

  • Leeds v Wigan - 14 Aug
  • Wigan v Catalans - 5 Sep at Millwall's The Den
  • St Helens v Wigan - 18 Sep
  • Castleford v Huddersfield - 3 Sep
  • St Helens v Warrington - 25 Sep

Full fixtures can be found here.

Qualifiers

Leigh celebrate
Leigh Centurions have already beaten Salford and Wakefield in the Challenge Cup this year

Leigh Centurions, who won the Championship regular-season title, welcome Challenge Cup semi-finalists Hull KR on the opening weekend.

Widnes, who are the highest-ranked top-flight side in the Qualifiers, travel to Halifax, while Wakefield host Salford and Bradford host Sheffield.

All teams start with zero points, so the tussle for the top five and the battle for Super League places are finely poised going into the seven-game mini-season.

Stand-out fixtures

  • Leigh v Salford - 16 Aug
  • Wakefield v Bradford - 15 Aug
  • Widnes v Hull KR - 23 Aug
  • Widnes v Salford - 20 Sep
  • Bradford v Halifax - 27 Sep

Full fixtures can be found here.

Championship Shield

Jon Sharp
Jon Sharp is responsible for leading Featherstone's bid after replacing Andy Hay at Post Office Road

Featherstone are the best-placed team with regards to the Championship Shield having finished fifth, and they ensure home advantage for their opener with Whitehaven.

Dewsbury, another side disappointed to miss out on the Qualifiers, welcome Hunslet Hawks while London, who showed improvement under Andrew Henderson's leadership, have the visit of Doncaster.

Workington and Batley complete the opening round of fixtures.

Stand-out fixtures

  • Batley v Dewsbury - 16 Aug
  • Dewsbury v London - 31 Aug
  • Workington v Whitehaven - 13 Sep
  • Featherstone v London - 20 Sep

Full fixtures can be found here.

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