Rugby League giants Leeds Rhinos to face Coventry Bears in opening pre-season friendly - The Coventry Observer

Rugby League giants Leeds Rhinos to face Coventry Bears in opening pre-season friendly

Coventry Editorial 20th Nov, 2017   0

RUGBY LEAGUE: THE world-famous Leeds Rhinos will take to the Butts Park Arena field next year as Coventry Bears’ 2018 fixture list was published.

Leeds, who won this year’s Rugby League Grand Final, will visit Coventry on Friday, January 19, for a pre-season friendly encounter against Tom Tsang’s side.

The club has been a major force in the sport since forming in 1870.

And as Bears prepare for their fourth season in League One following 16 years as an amateur club, many would presume both sides to have no previous history.

But they’d be wrong.

Prior to World War I, Leeds recorded their biggest win in its history – a 102-0 win against Coventry. The record still stands to this day.

In more recent years, the club’s illustrious history includes winning the Super League – the UK’s most prestigious competition – a record eight times since its formation in 1996.

And their latest league triumph took place in front of a sell out crowd at Old Trafford against Wigan Warriors.

In an added twist, January’s game will be the first ever rugby league contest to be played under floodlights at the Butts Park Arena.

It will start Bears’ 20th anniversary season in grand style – and the big names will continue to roll in throughout the summer as Bradford Bulls will face the Bears in a league match in June while Newcastle visit on Good Friday.

Leeds’ visit was made possible following an invitation from Leed Rhinos supporters’ midlands brance, of which Bears’ vice president Michael Shires is a member.

Michael told The Observer: “Coventry Bears are growing each year and attendances at Butts Park are also increasing.

“But there are still a lot of northerners like myself who support one of the big teams that find themselves living and working in the Midlands.

“This is a chance for all fans of the game in the area to come along, see a game between our local lads and one of rugby league’s biggest teams.

“We believe it will be a great night.”


To celebrate Bears’ blockbuster opening pre-season fixture, the Coventry Observer has teamed up with Tom Tsang’s team to offer two lucky readers the chance to be at the game.

To be in with a chance of winning our competition, email the correct answer to the question below to [email protected] by midnight on Saturday, December 9.

The winner will be contacted on Monday, December 11.

Leeds Rhinos have won the Super League how many times?

A) Four times.

B) Six times.

C) Eight times.

Support community journalism by making a contribution.

The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.

Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.

Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.


Advertise with the Coventry Observer to reach your audience


We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Coventry Observer newspaper.