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Million Pound Game kick-off date agreed – but RFL left waiting on time zone

Wakefield celebrate their success of winning the one Million Pound Game against Bradford Bulls in October 2015. Picture: James Hardisty.
Wakefield celebrate their success of winning the one Million Pound Game against Bradford Bulls in October 2015. Picture: James Hardisty.
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Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer says it was “important” to decide on a date and time for the Million Pound Game – even though no-one knows yet if it will be played in England, France or Canada.

The play-off between the clubs finishing fourth and fifth in the Qualifiers will be played at the home of the highest-placed team on Sunday, October 7, with a 7pm kick-off British Summer Time.

It was important that we made a decision with all stakeholders involved to find a date and time that worked for all the clubs in the Qualifiers as well as all our broadcast partners around the world.

Ralph Rimmer

The match, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, will determine the final place in Super League for 2019.

As it stands now, Toronto would be at home to Toulouse in a repeat of last Saturday’s controversial Qualifiers clash at the Lamport Stadium.

However, Salford, Leeds and Hull KR all need another win from the last two rounds to be assured of a top-three finish.

Furthermore, London Broncos could yet force their way into the reckoning and even Widnes are still mathematically not yet out of it with Halifax the only side who are definitely unable to qualify.

Rimmer said: “There is the possibility that the Million Pound Game could be played in either England, France or Canada which goes to show how global the game of rugby league is.

“With this in mind, it was important that we made a decision with all stakeholders involved to find a date and time that worked for all the clubs in the Qualifiers as well as all our broadcast partners around the world.”

The Million Pound Game, which has been held at Wakefield, Hull KR and Leigh since its introduction four years ago, will be replaced in 2019 by a Championship Grand Final to determine promotion to Super League.

Wakefield Trinity captain Danny Kirmond could make a surprise return from injury at Castleford Tigers tomorrow night.

The second-row was expected to miss the rest of the season after knee surgery in June but is included along with Ben Jones-Bishop and Chris Annakin as Keegan Hirst, Max Jowitt and Tom Johnstone drop out.

Will Maher comes in for Joe Wardle in Castleford’s only change to their 19-man squad.