Heywood Road

Swinton Lions have confirmed they will host a Betfred Championship double-header at their Heywood Road base in Sale on Sunday 9 May.

The Lions will kick off against Bradford Bulls at 11:45am before Toulouse Olympique face Widnes Vikings at 4:15pm.

This announcement comes on the back of Toulouse being compelled to play their home game against the Vikings in England.

Steve Wild, Swinton Lions’ CEO, said: “When we were approached by Cedric Garcia at Toulouse, we were only too happy to try an accommodate them.

“All clubs have gone through some tough times recently and, so long as it’s feasible, I believe it is our duty to help each other out for the overall good of the game.

“I would also like to thank Sale FC for their assistance with the logistics, and also Stuart Duffy and Bradford Bulls for readily agreeing to bring our kick off time forward in order to create the time-frame for this second match.

“The fact that the RFL have both encouraged and sanctioned the double-header at Swinton Lions is also a very welcome vote of confidence.”

Wild hopes the confidence entrusted upon them by the Rugby Football League will resonate with the general public when it is safe for fans to return to the ground.

He explained: “We have worked tremendously hard alongside our colleagues at Sale FC to make Heywood Road fully aligned with Behind Closed Doors Covid protocol.

“It is reassuring to know that we have the RFL’s trust in the fact that we are doing things the right way.

“Once we are allowed to let crowds back through the gates, we trust that this confidence in Swinton Lions will extend to the general public, and fans will feel safe and welcomed at Heywood Road.”

While Toulouse Olympique CEO, Cedric Garcia, is disappointed not to be able to play in Toulouse, he has admitted he is “happy to be part of this double header.”

Garcia said: “The solidarity shown by Steve and the Swinton Lions is fantastic, and in the name of Toulouse Olympique, I would like to thank them.

“It is greatly appreciated, and it will strengthen even more the friendship between our two clubs.”

The Head of the Professional Game, Samantha Allen, added on behalf of the RFL: “We are grateful to Swinton Lions for agreeing to stage a double header of Betfred Championship fixtures on May 9.

“Like the other Betfred Championship clubs, Swinton have done an excellent job of ensuring they can host fixtures in a Covid-secure manner.”

Both games will be available to watch live on “Our League”.

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