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How smarter scheduling would attract more fans to Super League matches

Impressive crowds have turned out to watch the Super League clubs in pre-season but having more weekend matches would lead to even bigger crowds
By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

By the time dusk descends on Sunday, all but three of Super League’s clubs will have returned to pre-season action. Only Huddersfield, grand finalists Wigan – who take on London Skolars at the Honorary Artillery Club in the heart of the City of London next Friday afternoon – and St Helens, are leaving it until just three weeks before showtime to get started.

Leeds are engaging in what looks like a fabulous weekend in Jacksonville, culminating in a game against the USA Pioneers on Sunday. That follows their Boxing Day walloping of Wakefield, which attracted over 10,000 fans to Headingley, yet was ignored by the national media. If that wasn’t worth a mention, then the dreadful kits surely were. Leeds wore a novelty Christmas jumper design while Trinity donned Santa suits. Sixteen-stone beasts crashing into each other in fancy dress looked ridiculous. A New Year plea: enough with the novelty kits!

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