Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s new Category 3 Academy side, run in partnership with Leeds City College, begin their 2019-20 season in the first ever College Rugby League ‘Magic’ Round this Wednesday.
Based on the same concept as Super League’s Magic Weekend, the games at Featherstone Rovers’ LD Nutrition Stadium will feature all eight Premier Division sides, with admission just £3 for adults, and £1 for children and concessions. All four matches will also be streamed live on Our League.
The action gets underway from 1pm when the Rhinos take on Hull FC Development Academy, with Wakefield College and Halifax Elite Academy taking the field at 7pm for the final fixture of an action-packed day. In between, it’s Salford Red Devils Foundation College versus Hopwood Hall (kick off 3pm) and Furness College against Huddersfield Giants Foundation College (5pm).
After winning the AoC Yorkshire Division 1 last year, Rhinos have prepared to make step up to a Cat 3 Academy in the Premier Division, with coach Dan Hardy setting his sights on another successful season.
“The lads have been together since September and looking to set the foundations for what we want to build on throughout the rest of the season,” said Hardy.
“A lot of our players are coming from community clubs and it will be the first time they play at this standard, so it’s going to be an interesting test against a strong Hull side. Hopefully they’re ready for it and we can capitalise on the occasion and the buzz around it to get off to a positive start.
“It’s going to be a great day with all the teams in action at one venue and we’re really looking forward to it.”
“The concept is fantastic and to have all the team there showcasing what they’ve got, might open some eyes to the quality that is knocking about in the College game and raise some awareness for kids who will be interested in joining us next year when they leave school.”
RFL education lead, Adam Hughes, commented: “The introduction of the College Magic Round was an exciting proposal that came from the premier teams themselves. It’s a wonderful way to see in the new season and I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the sides in action.”
The Rugby Football League have taken over the running of all Rugby League College competitions ahead of the 2019-2020 season. To see the full fixture list, visit https://www.rugby-league.com/.