Super League set for March 2021 season start and six-team play-off series
The 2021 Super League season will kick off on March 11, while the six-team play-off format is retained too. Grand Final set for October 9 at Old Trafford and Magic Weekend planned for Newcastle in May
Last Updated: 26/11/20 10:17am
Super League has confirmed the 2021 season will have a later start of Thursday, March 11 and retain the six-team play-off series.
The current season, which concludes on Friday evening with the Grand Final between Wigan Warriors and St Helens live on Sky Sports, was extended until the end of November as a result of being suspended for nearly four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021 campaign is due to finish with the Grand Final at its traditional Old Trafford home on October 9, with 27 rounds of regular-season fixtures followed by retaining the six-team play-off format used this year as a result of the later start.
The Rugby League World Cup, which is being held in England, kicking off at the end of October next year also factored into the decision to start the Super League season later than in recent seasons due to the desire to ensure an extended break for the players heading into a busy 2021.
"With our players performing at the highest level, late into November, it is important that we give our players time to recover and prepare properly for the 2021 campaign," Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said.
"Many of them will be looking to force themselves into the selection decisions for the Rugby League World Cup and pre-season will be a key part of their plans.
"What is also clear with the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19 is that a later start date gives us a better chance of playing more games in front of fans in 2021."
With the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19...a later start date gives us a better chance of playing more games in front of fans in 2021.
Meanwhile, Super League have also confirmed Magic Weekend will return in 2021 and is set to be played at Newcastle's St James' Park on May 29 and 30.
The home of Newcastle United had been due to host this year's Magic Weekend before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The full fixture list for the 2021 season, which will see clubs play 13 home games each, is due to be released in January.