The Betfred Championship Summer Bash is back for the first time in three years in 2022 – and heading for Headingley!
The iconic home of Leeds Rhinos and numerous great Rugby League occasions has been selected to host the sixth gathering of all 14 Championship clubs on the weekend of July 30-31.
It will be the first time the Summer Bash has been played anywhere other than Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road since the festival was introduced in 2015, as an equivalent to Super League’s Magic Weekend.
Tickets go on sale on Monday morning at 9am with Day and Weekend ticket options available. Season Ticket Holders of Championship teams can buy direct from their club and receive 50% off their ticket price, with a limited number of full price tickets also being available for central sales at Rugby League (rugby-league.com).
A full round of seven fixtures will be played across the weekend – a 27th round for the 2022 Betfred Championship season, in addition to the home and away programme, which adds an intriguing extra element to the battle for places in the top six Play-Offs which will determine promotion to the 2023 Betfred Super League.
The fixtures have been selected to build on rivalries – local, old or new – and to maximise the appeal of the weekend for supporters of the 14 clubs and for Rugby League neutrals, as a celebration of the quality of competition outside the Betfred Super League.
All three Cumbrian clubs will play in the Championship this season and they will all be involved on the Sunday (July 31) – with Barrow Raiders facing Widnes Vikings, before Whitehaven and Workington Town take their unique rivalry to Headingley for the first time.
The Sunday programme concludes with a meeting of two of the Championship’s most progressive clubs, as York City Knights face Newcastle Thunder.
West Yorkshire teams and supporters will be in a majority on Saturday July 30, although the action kicks off with Sheffield Eagles taking on London Broncos – the 1998 Challenge Cup winners against the 1999 runners-up.
Then Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams will maintain the one constant of the Summer Bash since it was introduced in 2015, as they meet for the sixth time with Dewsbury having won three of the previous five derbies at Bloomfield Road.
Next on a Super Saturday, Bradford Bulls will face Halifax Panthers, on a ground where both sets of supporters have been regular visitors for fixtures against Leeds – although not for a few years.
The action ends with a heavyweight clash between Brian McDermott’s Featherstone Rovers, who have been beaten in each of the last two Championship Grand Finals, and Adrian Lam’s Leigh Centurions, aiming to bounce straight back following relegation from the Betfred Super League.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It’s an exciting line-up of fixtures which will showcase the quality of the teams and players in the Betfred Championship, and Headingley Stadium will be a fitting stage.
“It’s a venue with so much Rugby League history, which will be familiar to supporters of all 14 clubs – but this may be a first opportunity for many to experience the superb redevelopments of recent years.
“We hope that Headingley’s convenient location for so many Rugby League supporters will also encourage fans of clubs from outside the Betfred Championship to come and watch the action.
“And for those unable to make it to the event, the weekend will be featured live on Premier Sports as part of our new partnership to showcase the Betfred Championship.
“It’s always an enjoyable weekend on and off the field – and although it will be slightly different in Leeds as opposed to Blackpool, we’re confident Rugby League fans will find plenty of ways to enjoy themselves.”
The 2022 Betfred Championship kicks off next Sunday (January 30), with six fixtures including Leigh Centurions hosting Whitehaven, and London Broncos playing Widnes Vikings in their first game at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, the home of AFC Wimbledon which will be their new base this season.
Premier Sports’ Monday Night coverage begins on January 31 with York City Knights hosting Featherstone Rovers in a repeat of last summer’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final at Wembley.
Betfred Championship Summer Bash 2022 – Headingley Stadium, July 30-31
Saturday July 30
London Broncos v Sheffield Eagles
Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams
Bradford Bulls v Halifax Panthers
Featherstone Rovers v Leigh Centurions
Sunday July 31
Barrow Raiders v Widnes Vikings
Whitehaven v Workington Town
Newcastle Thunder v York City Knights
Following meetings with clubs from Betfred Super League, Championship and League One today, the RFL confirms the return of scrums for the 2022 season in all competitions.
The RFL Laws Committee recommended the return of scrums for the 2022 season at their December meeting, provided 85% of players across the Betfred Super League and Championship competitions which kick off in the coming weeks had been double vaccinated.
Considering the recommendations later in December, the RFL Board deferred a final decision until January, to allow more time for vaccination rates to increase, and to assess the impact of the Omicron variant.
The 85% threshold has now been reached across Super League and the Championship. Other relevant factors include the increases in knowledge regarding the impact of the Omicron variant since December, reduced isolation periods for close contacts, and the views of clubs and other key stakeholders.
The Board have therefore accepted a recommendation from the RFL Executive for scrums to return – in all competitions, starting next weekend (29-31 January) in Round One fixtures in the Betfred Championship and the Second Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.
This will also apply across the Community Game.
The decision has been taken mindful of potential risks – but against the backdrop of the wider landscape relating to Covid and the de-regulation of Government rules relating to Covid.
The meetings also provided a final opportunity for clubs to input into the changes to the Covid fixture framework to apply in the 2022 Season: this will now go to the RFL Board for final sign-off.
As previously advised it is envisaged that the Covid framework under which league positions were determined by win points percentage in the 2020 and 2021 seasons will be replaced, and that any team unable to fulfil a fixture will forfeit the match with a 48-0 scoreline – save in exceptional circumstances to be determined by the RFL Board, which would include a club being unable to play a match due to being required to shut down by either the RFL’s Multiple Case Group or Public Health England.
The meeting of Betfred Super League clubs also discussed recent developments related to travel between France and the UK, and their likely effects on the ability of unvaccinated players to participate in fixtures involving Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique in France.
With three weeks remaining until the French clubs play their first matches against UK opposition in the 2022 season, the matter will be kept under review.
Scrums were suspended from all levels of Rugby League in the UK following a recommendation from the Laws Committee for the restart of the 2020 season in July, to minimise the risk of positive cases of Covid-19 being transmitted, or of players being forced to isolate as close contacts and therefore missing subsequent fixtures.
Batley Car Dealership Next Car are the latest sponsor to join the team at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
C–Jay and Sharlotte, directors of Next Car, told us “We are delighted to announce the sponsorship and partnership with Batley Bulldogs, and are passionate to continue our support of our local club and all its causes”
Located on Bradford Road, Next Car can supply a wide range of vehicles, and are specialists in providing car finance solutions for customers with varying credit history. Learn more on Facebook and Instagram, or visit their website at www.next-car.co.uk
Clearly it was a huge disappointment for both Clubs and their supporters for this game to be called off due to a Covid outbreak in both camps. It is also a financial blow to both Clubs as these gate receipts form part of our budgets for the 2022 season which therefore has not got off to a good start and it is already worrying going forward for the financial sustainability of both our Clubs. We can only ask for your continued support as we seek to weather the storm as it were.
Clearly some supporters bought tickets in advance on our ticketing site and were unable to use those tickets. This is a site where we have never had to refund monies before so it is not straightforward and so please bear with us.
Firstly to avoid a refund issue one alternative is to allow you to use the ticket you bought for Boxing Day to be used to gain entrance to our first home game v Halifax on 30th January. If you are prepared to do that then you need do nothing but simply use your ticket then.
Secondly if you intend to purchase a Bulldogs Season Ticket then do so not on the ticketing site but through the Club and we can deduct the cost of your Boxing Day ticket from your Season Ticket cost.
Thirdly if you have already purchased a Bulldogs Season Ticket or you are a Dewsbury supporter and so want a refund then simply contact our Club and we will put in place your refund once we hear from you.
Thank you for your patience and support.
Price Freeze and extra games on 2022 Season Cards
The Bulldogs 2022 Season Tickets are now available online at bulldogs.mysportstickets.co.uk/
Prices remain the same as 2021 with extra value added as Season Ticket Holders will have 2 extra games in comparison to the 2021 campaign. Adult passes are priced at £185, Concessions £135, with Junior Season Tickets once again going FREE thanks to the fantastic Sponsorship from Frankie’s Burgers.
Craig Lingards’s men open the new season with a home fixture against highly fancied Halifax Panthers on Sunday January 30th.
Season tickets are valid for all home Betfred Championship fixtures.
The 2022 Playing Shirts are now available from our partners at Ravensport.
You can buy these and a range of merchandise, plus Season tickets, from the club on Saturday 18th December, 0900 to midday or order online from ravensport.com
After an outstanding Rugby League career spanning over 13 years, free scoring winger Jodie Broughton has decided to officially call time on his playing days. Since his debut for Hull FC in 2008, 218 first class appearances have resulted in an astounding 140 Tries.
Jodie’s love for the game began at Queens ARLFC, where he played alongside James Brown, Ben Jones Bishop and Michael McIlorum before all 4 moved on to professional careers.
A move to the Leeds Rhinos Academy, where he captained the U21 side, led to a 2 year spell at Hull FC before moving on to Salford for 4 years where he registered 60 Tries in 99 games, and recalls favourably in particular playing at the old Willows Stadium. “It was a proper old style Rugby League Stadium, full of character, and I have some great memories of my time there and with Salford”
A move to Huddersfield Giants resulted in 31 appearances and 16 Tries, with The Giants finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Super League table.
During all of this time, he remarkably carried on working, in a career as a Quantity Surveyor.
Then came what Jodie describes as the best spell of his career, a move to Catalans Dragons, where he spent 4 years. An unfortunate run of injuries restricted appearances to 52, still crossing the line an incredible 38 times for the French side.
“It’s just a fantastic club with a real family atmosphere. Everyone gets involved. The supporters, sponsors squad and officials are all together as one. I feel privileged to have spent 4 years there and loved every minute”
For the Ill-fated 2020 Season, a return to the UK was on the cards, and although only able to play 4 times for Halifax before the season was cut short, he still managed 5 tries, before making the move to Batley Bulldogs for 2021.
Once again, his game to try ratio remained outstanding with 13 appearances for The Bulldogs resulting in 13 tries.
“Batley is a fantastic club and to have spent my final year playing there has been amazing. There’s a very similar feel to Catalans, apart from the weather! The club has a special togetherness, I knew plenty of the players already, especially James Brown of course, as we began our journeys together.”
With a great twist of Irony, the final game of a memorable career was to be back in France, as The Bulldogs performed heroically against Toulouse Olympique in the Betfred Championship Semi Final”
“It was an amazing day. Obviously I’d have preferred one more game, but for it to end there in France, with friends in the crowd, and to be on the field with Browny, made it extra special. I’ve been very lucky, I have some incredible memories and friends for life.”
As well as being able to spend more time with his family, Jodie plans now to concentrate on his Surveying career and will also stay in the game as he develops a role as a Player Welfare Officer. “It’s something I’m very much looking forward to. Batley have given me the opportunity to work with them and I can’t wait to get started.”
Appearances for the England Knights, and one for England against a Cumbria side in 2010, can be added to the above.
Jodie Broughton has been another outstanding servant to our game. A Try return of more than one every two games speaks for itself. The final word goes to his final Coach, Craig Lingard.
“Jodie is the ultimate professional and when you see the quality of club he has played for, there’s no surprise. His approach and attitude at Batley have been first class and it’s been a pleasure to have him around the camp this year, and we’re delighted he’s staying with us as he looks to the next stage of his career.”
After the huge success of last year’s success Toy Drive, The Bulldogs Community Team will be running the initiative again for this coming Christmas.
“Our Toy Drive last Christmas provided almost 100 local children in need with a Christmas gift. We are excited to be able to run the campaign again for Christmas 2021! We will be taking donations of new toys or donations via PayPal donation link below, between now and 12th December.”
If you would like to donate a gift, get in touch to arrange collection or drop off!
Head Coach Craig Lingard has moved quickly to secure the signings of two highly youngsters from the Castleford Tigers Academy.
Josh Milthorpe and Louis Collinson have joined The Bulldogs on a permanent deal for 2022. Louis is a powerful Loose Forward who Captained the Academy side in 2021, whilst Josh is an outside back, expected to compete at Full Back at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, who finished top Try Scorer in the competition.
Linners is delighted to have the pair on board. “It’s great for the squad to have young enthusiastic players joining, and a fantastic opportunity for the boys to show how good they are, to develop and move their game on at the next level. Both are very talented and we fully expect them to be challenging through the year”
Exciting young Centre Josh Hodson is a Bulldog for the 2022 campaign.
Having played both codes if Rugby as a youngster, with his home town club Newport and Telford Rugby League, he joined the Broncos in 2020. Standout appearances caught the eye of a number of Championship clubs and we’re delighted to have Josh at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium for 2022.