HULL FC will travel to Wakefield Trinity for the only Yorkshire derby of Betfred Super League’s opening round next year.
The Challenge Cup holders, who finished third this season, are set to visit Belle Vue in the final game of the competition’s first weekend, on Sunday, February 12.
Hull beat Wakefield three times in 2016, winning 22-4 at home and 46-28 away in the regular season before a tense 18-12 victory at Belle Vue in the Super-8s.
That was Hull’s only win following their Challenge Cup final triumph against Warrington Wolves in August.
Wakefield – who have dropped the Wildcats suffix from their club name – will be looking for their first victory since winning 30-28 at Catalans Dragons on July 16.
They finished eighth on the league table this year, climbing four places from the previous season, but lost all their seven fixtures in the Super-8s.
Despite concern from some fans and clubs, matches will again be televised by Sky Sports on Thursday and Friday nights.
Leeds Rhinos, the 2015 treble winners who slumped to ninth this year, will be involved in the competition’s curtain-raiser, away to St Helens on Thursday, February 9.
Rhinos were pipped 38-34 on their previous visit to Langtree Park last April in one of the games of the season.
Castleford Tigers play host to newly-promoted Leigh Centurions – returning to the top-flight for the first time since 2005 – in the following evening’s Sky-televised game at the same time as Huddersfield Giants begin their campaign away to Widnes Vikings.
Giants – who are favourites to sign Leeds’s transfer-listed full-back Zak Hardaker – will be looking to make a fast start after finishing bottom this year.
Super League takes a break after round one for the World Club Series, when Warrington will face England coach Wayne Bennett’s Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks visit fellow champions Wigan Warriors.
But Leeds and Huddersfield will both be in action in games brought forward from round 11, in April, when teams involved in the Qualifiers this year will begin their Challenge Cup campaign.
Rhinos are Leigh’s first home opponents on Friday, February 17, 24 hours after Huddersfield face Salford Red Devils at John Smith’s Stadium.
There will again be a double round of matches over the Easter weekend.
Huddersfield are at home to Catalans Dragons on Thursday, April 13 and the following day, Good Friday, will see Castleford play host to Wakefield and Leeds visit Hull.
On Easter Monday, Leeds are at home to Widnes, Hull visit Leigh, Castleford are at St Helens, Wakefield entertain Wigan and Huddersfield travel to Warrington.
Controversially, Super League clubs face a similar pileup the following month, when Yorkshire’s contingent are in round 15 action on Friday, May 26 and back-up three days later, on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, May 29.
That will allow the season to finish a week earlier, giving England extra time to prepare for the 2017 World Cup.
Super League will again split into Super-8s and Qualifiers after 23 rounds.
Meanwhile, relegated Hull Kingston Rovers begin life in the Championship at home to fellow fallen giants Bradford Bulls on Sunday, February 5.
Another Yorkshire derby opener sees Halifax play host to Featherstone Rovers.
Sheffield Eagles – whose future appeared to be in doubt earlier this year – visit Oldham and Dewsbury Rams travel to League One champions Rochdale Hornets.
Batley Bulldogs – under new coach Matt Diskin, who has taken over from John Kear – travel to promoted Toulouse Olympique in their opening fixture the previous afternoon.
09 St Helens A8pm
17 Leigh Centurions A8pm
24 Salford Red Devils H8pm
02 Castleford Tigers A8pm
10 Catalans Dragons H8pm
17 Wakefield Trinity H8pm
24 Huddersfield Giants A8pm
31 Wigan Warriors H8pm
07 Warrington Wolves A8pm
14 Hull FC ATBC
17 Widnes Vikings HTBC
27 Huddersfield Giants H8pm
06 Catalans Dragons A6pm
21 Castleford Tigers MW5.30pm
26 Warrington Wolves H8pm
29 Widnes Vikings ATBC
02 Leigh Centurions H8pm
11 Wakefield Trinity A3pm
23 Castleford Tigers H8pm
29 St Helens H8pm
09 Salford Red Devils A3pm
14 Hull FC H8pm
21 Wigan Warriors A8pm