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Bradford Bulls 2013 Super League fixtures
Bradford Bulls will begin Super League XVIII with a home match against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday, February 3.
And Francis Cummins’ side will end a 2013 campaign whose highlight is the Rugby League World Cup with another derby, Huddersfield visiting the Provident Stadium on Sunday, September 8.
The Giants will also provide new opposition for the Bulls on Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Sunday, May 26.
Bradford normally face Leeds Rhinos in the two-day festival, losing to them on all four occasions they have met in it, albeit twice by only four points.
They have also been defeated on Magic Weekend by the Crusaders – the Bulls’ only victory in six attempts coming in 2009 when they beat Wakefield 32-16 at Murrayfield.
Cummins will be hoping fresh opponents will bring the Bulls a change of fortune.
Both regular-season matches against the Rhinos are set to be shown live on Sky TV, with the Bulls visiting Headingley on Maundy Thursday (March 28) and hosting Leeds on Sunday, May 5.
The Bulls, who meet Salford City Reds at Odsal on Easter Monday, are also due on the small screen in round three on Saturday, February 16 at home to Castleford Tigers (5.45).
Cummins said he preferred to dwell on the progress being made in pre-season rather than focus his attention on how the 2013 fixtures have fallen.
“It’s exciting when the fixtures come out because you realise it’s (the season) not that far away,” he said. “But at the moment we’re not thinking about the opposition. Our biggest opponents right now are ourselves, and that’s who we’re concentrating on.
“We’ve got some people with some very achy bodies and they have to convince themselves they can come through that.
“I’ve warned the players that they are going to get a lot more tired through this pre-season but they’ll be better for it.
“It’s always the same in the first few weeks of pre-season. You struggle to get down the stairs in a morning because you’re body is screaming.
“You feel sorry for yourselves but that will pass as it goes on and the opening game gets nearer.”
The opening day also sees Salford host Wigan, while on Sunday, Catalan Dragons travel to Hull KR, London face Widnes and Challenge Cup holders Warrington take on Castleford.
Round four will comprise six matches to allow Leeds to play NRL champions Melbourne Storm in the 2013 World Club Challenge on Friday, February 22 at Headingley.
Meanwhile, Super League chief executive Nigel Wood is predicting that World Cup year will provide the catalyst for the greatest Super League season of all.
Wood said: “Super League continued to build in stature in 2012 with record attendances and viewing figures, and I am sure this exciting fixture schedule will see even more people enjoy the experience of watching this extraordinary competition in 2013.
“We have a 14-team Super League followed by a 14-nation World Cup, and that makes for the perfect formula for success.
“The chance to feature in the most successful Rugby League World Cup of all time at the end of the year is guaranteed to bring out the best in every Super League player, and I share the view held by tens of thousands of fans that the big kick-off cannot come quickly enough.”
Bulls 2013 Super League fixtures in full
SUN 3 WAKEFIELD HOME
Fri 8 Hull FC Away
SAT 16 CASTLEFORD (Sky) HOME
SUN 24 ST HELENS HOME
Sun 3 Huddersfield Away
Fri 8 Widnes Away
SUN 17 HULL KR HOME
Sat 23 Catalan Dragons Away
Thu 28 Leeds Rhinos (Sky tbc) Away
MON 1 SALFORD HOME
Sun 7 London Broncos Away
SUN 14 WIGAN HOME
Sun 28 Warrington Away
SUN 5 LEEDS RHINOS (Sky) HOME
Fri 17 Salford Away
Sun 26 Huddersfield (Magic Weekend)
Sun 2 Hull KR Away
Sun 9 St Helens Away
SUN 23 WIDNES HOME
SUN 30 WARRINGTON HOME
Fri 5 Wigan Away
SUN 21 HULL FC HOME
Sun 4 Wakefield Away
SUN 11 CATALAN HOME
Sun 18 Castleford Away
SUN 1 LONDON BRONCOS HOME
SUN 8 HUDDERSFIELD HOME
The permanent 2013 Bulls fixtures page is in the Bulls section of the website