KEIGHLEY Cougars have confirmed that their first pre-season friendly will take place on Boxing Day.

A traditional curtain-raising date on the rugby league calendar, Keighley will welcome Oldham to Cougar Park for a 2pm kick-off.

It should be a fascinating battle between the two sides who arguably favourites to top League 1 in 2024.

Oldham have made some particularly eye-catching moves in the off-season, bringing in Sean Long as head coach, as well as signing big names like Matty Wildie and Elijah Taylor.

The game will also mark Mo Agoro’s return to Cougar Park.

The winger scored 47 tries in 59 appearances during a four-year spell with Keighley, before leaving to join the Roughyeds last month.

But as well as keeping the likes of Ellis Robson, Junior Sa’u and Mark Ioane, Cougars have also made some strong additions to their squad, including Jack Miller, Adam Ryder and Lewis Hatton.

The latter trio are all set to debut, in the case of Miller and Ryder for a second time, in that friendly against Oldham.

And on the sidelines once again will be former Cougars player Adam Mitchell.

The half-back was assistant coach at Keighley following his retirement, but left at the end of 2016 to join Dewsbury Rams.

He had spent the last seven years there, but left his role as the club’s strength and conditioning coach last week.

And on Tuesday, Cougars confirmed Mitchell would be returning to the club as part of their coaching staff for 2024, where he will work under his former teammate and current head coach Matt Foster.