DONCASTER DONS: Promoted Dons in home start

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DONCASTER, last season’s Championship One winners, will kick-off their 2013 Championship campaign with a home game against Dewsbury Rams on February 3.

They will make the long trip to Barrow, who they beat in last season’s Play-Off final at Warrington, the following week looking to avenge their early-season defeat at Craven Park in their 2012 campaign.

They entertain Workington, another of the promoted clubs, before taking on Leigh, one of the ‘big five’ Championship clubs.

Tony Miller’s men travel to face Sheffield Eagles on Good Friday, at either Bramall Lane or the Don Valley Stadium, but have to wait until the last weekend of the season to host their South Yorkshire rivals.

The visit of Featherstone Rovers will be shown live on Premier Sports.

In a change to the Northern Rail Cup format, the 14 Championship teams all receive a bye until the KO stages starting in May.

Dons fixtures -

Feb 3 Dewsbury Rams (H)

Feb 10 Barrow Raiders (A)

Feb 17 Workington Town (H)

Feb 24 Leigh Centurions (A)

Mar 3 Hunslet Hawks (A)

Mar 10 Batley Bulldogs (H)

Mar 17 Swinton Lions (A)

Mar 24 York City Knights (H)

Mar 29 Sheff Eagles (7.30pm) (A)

Apr 1 Halifax (H)

Apr 11 Featherstone (7.30pm) (H)

Apr 28 Whitehaven (A)

May 5 Keighley Cougars (H)

May 26 Workington Town (A)

Jun 2 York City Knights (A)

Jun 9 Featherstone Rovers (A)

Jun 23 Keighley Cougars (A)

Jul 7 Leigh Centurions (H)

Jul 14 Hunslet Hawks (H)

Jul 21 Batley Bulldogs (2pm) (A)

Jul 28 Barrow Raiders (H)

Aug 4 Whitehaven (H)

Aug 11 Halifax (A)

Aug 18 Swinton Lions (H)

Aug 22 Dewsbury (7.30pm) (A)

Sep 1 Sheffield Eagles (H)

Sheffield Eagles face a tricky start to the defence of their Championship title with games against two of their main rivals in the 2013 fixtures released today.

Eagles travel to Halifax in the opening round and play Batley Bulldogs in their first home game – clubs they beat in the play-offs on the way to last season’s Grand Final triumph.