Promoted Whitby first up for Sunderland in new rugby season opener

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Sunderland have a home date to start the new rugby season – as they return to Durham/Northumberland DivisionTwo following last season’s relegation.

The Ashbrooke club host Whitby, while newly-promoted neighbours Houghton entertain Barnard Castle at Dairy Lane.

The first derby between the pair is at Ashbrooke on November 7, with the return at Dairy Lane on March 5.

Seaham have a blank week on the opening day of the Third Division season, when Washington welcome Newton Aycliffe. Seaham kick off at home to Yarm on September 12.

In Division One, Durham City start with a home clash against Gosforth at Hollow Drift on September 5, while Horden head to Medicals.