Super 8s: Super League leaders St Helens begin at home to Huddersfield

St Helens full-back Ben Barba is the top try-scorer in Super League this season
St Helens full-back Ben Barba is the top try-scorer in Super League this season

Super League leaders St Helens will face Huddersfield Giants in the first match of the Super 8s on 10 August.

Saints, 10 points clear of second-place Wigan, could win the League Leaders' Shield at the end of the second round of fixtures, if results go their way.

Elsewhere, Wigan take on Castleford while Warrington face Catalans after both played in the 2017 Qualifiers.

Leeds Rhinos, the 2017 Super League champions, begin their Qualifiers campaign against Toulouse on 11 August.

The other first-round Qualifiers games see Widnes take on London Broncos, Hull KR face Salford and Halifax welcome Toronto.

How do the Super 8s work?

After 23 regular-season fixtures, each team plays an additional seven games in the second phase of the season with the top four teams from the Championship joining the 12 Super League teams to form two tiers of eight teams.

In the top tier, points from the regular season are carried over and after all seven games are played, the top four sides progress to the Super League play-off semi-finals for a chance to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford on 13 October.

In the lower tier - known as the Qualifiers - the leading three teams automatically earn a place in next season's Super League, with the clubs finishing fourth and fifth playing in the so-called 'Million Pound Game' which is a one-off contest for the last remaining spot in the top flight.

Joining Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils and Widnes Vikings in the Qualifiers are Toronto Wolfpack, London Broncos, Toulouse and Halifax, who were the top four sides in the Championship at the end of the regular season.