Hat-trick for Newcastle as Magic Weekend returns to St James’s Park

Denny Solomona scores a try for Castleford Tigers at this year's Magic Weekend
Denny Solomona scores a try for Castleford Tigers at this year's Magic Weekend
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A Grand Final rematch will provide the highlight of Betfred Super League’s 11th Magic Weekend in 2017, which will again be held in Newcastle.

Organisers have confirmed the annual two-day extravaganza, in which all 12 Super League clubs play on the same pitch in a little over 24 hours, will return to St James’ Park on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, after it drew a record aggregate crowd of 68,276 in 2016.

Newcastle, which also hosted the event in 2015, are thought to have got the nod ahead of Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, which was the venue from 2012-14, and Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, which will host a Four Nations double-header next month.

The Magic Weekend has enjoyed steady growth since it began at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2007 and it is estimated that the 2016 event was worth more than £4million to the local economy in the North East.

The fixtures have been changed completely from 2016, partly forced by the relegation of Hull KR which robbed the event of the popular Hull derby.

Hull FC’s opponents instead will be St Helens in a clash of this year’s beaten semi-finalists which will precede the Grand Final repeat between Wigan and Warrington on day one.

Promoted Leigh will make their debut when they take on Salford the following day while a third derby, between Leeds and Castleford, will bring down the curtain on the event.

The full fixture list is:

Saturday, May 20: Widnes v Wakefield (14:30); Hull FC v St Helens (16:45); Wigan v Warrington (19:00).

Sunday, May 21: Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield (13:00); Leigh v Salford (15:15), Castleford v Leeds (17:30).