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Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports Arena will be dedicated to rugby league in the week leading up to the new Super League season

Sky Sports have announced the classic matches which will be shown in the build-up to the new Super League season as part of the rugby league takeover on Sky Sports Arena later this month.

We have delved into the archives to dig out over 40 classic encounters from the past 25 seasons of Super League, Test and World Cup clashes and some iconic Big League showdowns from the sport’s winter era.

Find out below which matches are being shown and on what day (broadcast times to be confirmed) as we count down to the 2021 campaign kicking off on Friday, March 26…

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports to launch pop-up RL channel for new season

Sky Sports will be launching a pop-up channel dedicated to rugby league ahead of the Super League season.

Monday, March 22

Paris Saint-Germain vs Sheffield Eagles (1996): The game which witnessed a new dawn for rugby league, as the Eagles kicked off the Super League era against the newcomers in Paris.

Australia vs Wales (2000): A place in the World Cup Final is up for grabs – Can the Dragons produce one of the games’ biggest all-time shocks against the Kangaroos?

St Helens vs Warrington Wolves (2013): The Saints and the Wolves brought the curtain down on Day One of the 2013 Magic Weekend, as Warrington ran in eight tries in Manchester.

Bradford Bulls vs Leeds Rhinos (2007): Another chance to revisit arguably the most controversial moment in Magic Weekend history as Leeds faced neighbours and fierce rivals Bradford in an unforgettable finale.

Warrington Wolves vs Leeds Rhinos (2005): A chance to savour arguably the biggest debut in Super League history as rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns made his Warrington bow.

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:27
Wales gave Australia a huge scare in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup semi-finals with Lee Briers leading the charge

Wales gave Australia a huge scare in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup semi-finals with Lee Briers leading the charge

Leeds Rhinos vs Warrington Wolves (2006): Re-live an incredible finish at Headingley as the Wolves hunt their maiden win in the Super League play-offs…

Castleford vs Wigan (1994): We rewind to the winter era for a Premiership final clash which saw Wigan and Castleford go head to head in front of over 35,000 at Old Trafford in the last game of the 1993/94 campaign.

Hull Kingston Rovers vs Salford Red Devils (2016): The Million Pound Game produced an unforgettable finish at Craven Park, as Gareth O’Brien’s epic extra-time intervention kept Salford in Super League.

Castleford vs Warrington (1994): Another dip into the Big League archives for a 10-try thriller at Wheldon Road which saw a teenage Paul Sculthorpe shine for the visitors.

Tuesday, March 23

London Broncos vs St Helens (1996): A pivotal match in the race for the 1996 Super League title as a controversial try proved decisive in the capital.

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:35
Lesley Vainikolo scores his first try for Bradford as the Bulls face Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge

Lesley Vainikolo scores his first try for Bradford as the Bulls face Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge

Wigan vs London Broncos (1996): A match that ultimately changed the direction of the inaugural Super League trophy – Could Terry Matterson and the Broncos put the boot in on the Warriors?

Hull Kingston Rovers vs Hull FC (2016): An unforgettable Hull derby at Craven Park that saw the biggest comeback in the fixture’s long history.

Huddersfield Giants vs Leeds Rhinos (2015): Ryan Hall was the hero as Leeds snatched the League Leaders’ Shield in one of rugby league’s most incredible finishes.

Halifax Blue Sox vs Bradford Bulls (1997): A match from the second season of Super League which saw one of rugby league’s most incredible comebacks as a 20-point deficit is overturned at Thrum Hall.

Bradford Bulls vs Newcastle Knights (2002): Super League champions Bradford take on NRL Premiers Newcastle Knights in the World Club Challenge – The Bulls in their pomp!

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:26
Ikram Butt scores for Featherstone as they take on Hull during the 1995 Big League season

Ikram Butt scores for Featherstone as they take on Hull during the 1995 Big League season

St Helens vs Brisbane Broncos (2001): A thriller at Reebok Stadium as Super League champions St Helens face NRL Premiers Brisbane for the right to be crowned champions of the world.

Featherstone Rovers vs Castleford Tigers (2012): Championship side Featherstone face local rivals Castleford in the Challenge Cup 4th round – Could part-time Rovers produce one of the biggest Challenge Cup upsets in recent times?

Hull Kingston Rovers vs Wakefield (2007): Rovers are back in the top flight after 13 years – Can Justin Morgan’s side mark the occasion with a win over the Wildcats?

Wednesday, March 24

Leeds Rhinos vs Bradford Bulls (2020): An emotional pre-season encounter which saw some Rhinos greats reunite for Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s testimonial match and a fundraiser for Rob Burrow.

Leeds Rhinos vs Widnes Vikings (2002): Super League’s record try-scorer Danny McGuire scores the first of his 247 touchdowns – but would it be enough to see the Rhinos to victory?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:35
Super League’s record try-scorer Danny McGuire scored the first of his 247 touchdowns when Leeds Rhinos faced Widnes Vikings in 2002

Super League’s record try-scorer Danny McGuire scored the first of his 247 touchdowns when Leeds Rhinos faced Widnes Vikings in 2002

Featherstone Rovers vs Hull FC (1995): This Big League clash produced an end-to-end thriller at Post Office Road with plenty of fire and a few cards brandished by the referee! Who would weather the heavy conditions to take the points?

Bradford Northern vs Leeds (1993): A lively West Yorkshire encounter at Valley Parade as Peter Fox’s Northern side faced off against their local rivals. Could the Loiners upset a Bradford side away from their Odsal home?

Leeds vs Wigan (1994): A match which saw Leeds repeat their 1994 home win over the reigning champions at a packed Headingley, with Francis Cummins scoring twice for the home side.

Wigan Warriors vs St Helens (2003): In his own words, Stuart Raper’s best win as a coach – as a Warriors team missing nine regulars overturn a 10-point deficit to inflict a fourth successive defeat on Saints.

St Helens vs Wigan Warriors (2011): A 24,000 sell-out crowd were treated to an Easter classic, as the defending champions denied Saints a fourth-straight win on Wigan soil.

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 2:15
It was a fierce clash between two West Yorkshire rivals when Bradford faced Leeds in 1993 – Northern’s first-ever game at Valley Parade

It was a fierce clash between two West Yorkshire rivals when Bradford faced Leeds in 1993 – Northern’s first-ever game at Valley Parade

Hull Kingston Rovers vs Hull FC (2012): David Hodgson struck at the last in Manchester, as Rovers snatch victory in the 216th Hull derby at that year’s Magic Weekend.

Bradford Bulls vs Wigan Warriors (2007): Wigan claim Super League’s greatest comeback at Odsal, overcoming a 24-point second-half deficit to seal victory by the odd point in 61.

England vs Ireland (2000): Ireland’s finest hour in international rugby league as they pushed England close in the 2000 World Cup quarter-finals.

Thursday, March 25

London Broncos vs Canberra Raiders (1997): Re-live one of the Broncos’ greatest nights, as Tony Currie’s men stunned a star-studded Raiders outfit in the 1997 World Club Championship.

Castleford Tigers vs St Helens (2017): Luke Gale’s golden-point drop-goal settled an enthralling Super League semi-final, as Castleford booked a maiden Grand Final appearance at Old Trafford

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:37
Francis Cummins scored a great try for Leeds when they took on Wigan at a packed Headingley in 1994

Francis Cummins scored a great try for Leeds when they took on Wigan at a packed Headingley in 1994

Wakefield Trinity vs Castleford Tigers (2006): Two West Yorkshire neighbours go head-to-head at Belle Vue with their top flight status on the line – Could Trinity survive in Super League for a ninth straight season and condemn the Tigers to a second relegation in three seasons?

Warrington vs Leeds (1994): A Big League match which saw Ellery Hanley break the world record for tries in a season by a forward as Leeds took on Warrington at Wilderspool.

Australia vs Great Britain (1992): A famous night in Melbourne as the Lions levelled the Ashes Series, outscoring Australia by five tries to two at Princes Park.

Great Britain vs Australia (2001): The Lions triumphed in the Ashes opener, as Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe helped Great Britain & Ireland to a first victory over Australia in six years.

Great Britain vs Australia (2004): An encounter which saw the Lions book their place in the Tri-Nations Final, as Stuart Fielden got up to score a famous try.

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:20
Graham Steadman’s try for Great Britain in the Test win over Australia in 1992 is among the international highlights

Graham Steadman’s try for Great Britain in the Test win over Australia in 1992 is among the international highlights

Wigan vs Leeds (1995): Top-flight rugby league travelled to Ireland as Wigan took on Leeds in Dublin for the 1995 Charity Shield.

Whitehaven vs Salford (2010): A match from the Championship which saw A-Level student Gregg McNally burst onto the scene with a debut hat-trick on debut for the Cumbrian side against the league leaders.

Friday, March 26

Australia vs Tonga (2019): One of the greatest international upsets of all time as Tonga defeated world champions Australia in Auckland.

Wigan Warriors vs St Helens (1999): Wigan bring the curtain down on almost exactly 97 years at Central Park, hosting their fiercest rivals in the final game before a move to the JJB Stadium.

St Helens vs Bradford Bulls (2000): Re-live arguably Super League’s most iconic finish, as St Helens went the length of the field as the siren sounds, denying the Bulls courtesy of Chris Joynt’s ‘Wide to West’ touchdown.

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on?

Sky Sports rugby league takeover: What classic matches are on? 0:24
Dual-code Welshman Kevin Ellis scores for Workington Town against Halifax when the sides met at Derwent Park in 1995

Dual-code Welshman Kevin Ellis scores for Workington Town against Halifax when the sides met at Derwent Park in 1995

Leigh Centurions vs Wigan Warriors (2017): A huge night for the Centurions as they take on fierce rivals Wigan in the ‘Battle of the Borough’.

Oldham vs St Helens (1994): Honours even in a tense draw at atmospheric Watersheddings in this Big League showdown.

Workington Town vs Halifax (1995): A special night in West Cumbria – Could a struggling Workington Town side produce an upset at muddy Derwent Park?


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