Coventry Bears will be hosting reigning Betfred Super League Champions, the Leeds Rhinos in a pre-season friendly game at Butts Park Arena.

The pre-season friendly will take place on Friday 19 January 2018, kick-off 7.45pm and will be the Rhinos first match of the 2018 season. Coventry Bears Managing Director, Alan Robinson, is delighted to welcome the recently crowned Betfred Super League champions, he said:

This is the most important Rugby League game to be held in Coventry since the 2016 Four Nations and we are honoured that the most successful club in the Super League era of the sport will be gracing the hallowed turf of the Butts Park Arena”. 

“The match against Leeds Rhinos is a unique opportunity for Bears’ fans, rugby enthusiasts and general sports followers in Coventry, and the wider Midlands region, to witness an iconic sporting institution on their doorstep and we would encourage everyone who enjoys live sport to come along and watch the eight-time Betfred Super League champions do battle with the Bears.”

Leeds and Coventry last played Rugby League against one another back in 1913 when the Leeds club triumphed 102-0 in what is still a record score for the Leeds club.  Whilst the Bears are hoping for a much closer game some 105 years later, there will be a major emphasis on the historical connection between the two cities and their last Rugby League encounter.

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington spoke of the event:

 “We are delighted to take up the invitation from Coventry Bears to play them in pre-season. As part of our ambassador scheme, our West Midlands Supporter Branch has been based at Coventry Bears for two years and it is great to reward the hard work being done in the Midlands with this fixture.”

Leeds Rhinos’ Head of Media and Public Relations Phil Daly is equally excited about this historical fixture:

“We at the Rhinos are delighted to be making the visit to Coventry.  105 years is a long time between drinks and we are sure our fans will enjoy their trip to a new Rugby League destination, for what will be the first chance to watch the Rhinos in 2018.”

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington, will also be the guest speaker at a pre-match hospitality event that is available to book at £40 per person and includes a 3-course table service meal, exclusive bar facilities and match ticket starting at 6pm with food served at 6:30pm.  There are only 120 places for this hospitality event and a sell-out is expected so fans are advised to book early via Eventbrite or to contact debbie.watson@coventrybears.co.uk to avoid disappointment.