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Coventry Bears celebrate ‘City of Culture’ with a blast from their past

Leeds Rhinos, the Winners of 2017’s Rugby League Grand Final are coming to Coventry in January to mark the start of the Bears 20th Anniversary season, and to celebrate the Rugby League heritage of the 2021 City of Culture.

The Rhinos are one of Rugby League’s biggest and most famous teams from the game’s Northern heartlands.

Their illustrious history includes winning Super League a record eight times since the competition started in 1996.

In October they won the final in front of a packed Old Trafford against Castleford, another great name in Rugby League.

But on Friday 19th January, they will be heading down the M1 to play Coventry Bears in an exciting curtain -raiser for both sides’ 2018 campaigns.

The 7.45 kick -off means that this will be the first pro Rugby League game to have been played under floodlights at the Butts Park Arena, and this plus an expected large crowd should contribute to a great atmosphere.

Leeds have been a major force since 1870, and as the Bears are only now entering their fourth League 1 season after sixteen amateur years, there would appear to be no history between the two sides.

However, Coventry did have a Rugby League side from 1911 to 1913 before World War One broke out taking the lives of so many young men who had played the game.

And it was against this side that Leeds recorded a 102-0 victory, the biggest win in their history.

Tom Tsang’s men will certainly be looking to avenge that defeat, and to at least drastically reduce the margin in honour of those former players.

The visit of Leeds has come about after an invitation from Leeds Rhinos supporters’ Midlands branch, of which Bears’ Vice President Michael Shires is also a member.

Michael summed up;

Coventry Bears are growing each year and attendances at Butts Park are also increasing.

But there are still a lot of Northerners like myself who support one of the big sides but who now find themselves studying, working and living in the Midlands.

So, this is a chance for all fans of the game in the area to come along, see a match between our local lads and one of the game’s biggest teams.

We reckon it will be a great night.