KEIGHLEY Cougars will be hoping history repeats itself, after their 2024 Betfred League 1 fixtures were revealed at the weekend.

In 2022, they became just the third team in the history of rugby league’s summer era to complete an ‘invincible’ season, winning all 20 of their third-tier games that year.

Though Cougars had long since wrapped up the title by that point, the final game in their attempt to achieve immortality came at Rochdale Hornets.

Despite a battling effort from the hosts, who were only able to name a squad of 14 players, Keighley won the game 56-24 to seal a perfect league campaign.

Cougars had high hopes for last season off the back of that sensational 2022, but a tumultuous campaign saw them relegated from the Championship on the final day.

Alongside Oldham, who have made some eye-catching signings, Keighley are the title favourites, and they will hope their trip to Rochdale to round off the 2024 season is another celebratory occasion like two years prior.

That final-day game takes place on Sunday, September 1, with the champions set to go up automatically.

They will be joined in the 2025 Championship by the League 1 play-off winners, with those games taking place over four successive weekends from Sunday, September 15 to Sunday, October 6.

Cougars’ season starts over nine months before that, with a Boxing Day friendly at home to Oldham.

That is followed by two more games at Cougar Park in pre-season, against Castleford and Halifax.

Keighley’s first competitive game is at home to Dewsbury in Group Two of the 1895 Cup on Sunday, January 28.

They host neighbours Bradford in their second and final group game three weeks later, with a Challenge Cup third round tie sandwiched between those two fixtures.

There will be two further rounds of the Challenge Cup between the Bulls game and the league season starting, with the 1895 Cup quarter-finals in between those on the first weekend of March.

Cougars’ league season finally starts at home to Cornwall on Sunday, March 17, before they host Workington a week later.

Remarkably, that means Cougars’ first away game, as it stands, does not arrive until March 29, when they travel to Hunslet for a Good Friday league fixture.

Newcastle Thunder were relegated from the Championship alongside Keighley last season, before announcing they would have to fold for financial reasons.

However, an outpouring of support has led them to reconsider, and they are working hard to be on the start line for the 2024 League 1 season.

Thunder have been included in the third-tier fixture list, with Keighley due to travel up to the North-East on Sunday, April 21, before Cougar Park hosts the return game on Sunday, August 4.

With only nine teams due to be in League 1 next year, including Newcastle, teams will play four loop fixtures in order to fulfil a 20-game season, with three bye weeks apiece for each side.

That means Cougars face title rivals Oldham three times, twice at home, on Sunday, May 26 and Sunday, August 18, and once away, on Sunday, July 21.

Keighley also face Hunslet, North Wales Crusaders and Rochdale on three occasions too.


March 17 – Cornwall (H)

March 24 – Workington (H)

March 29 – Hunslet (A)

April 7 - BYE

April 14 – North Wales Crusaders (H)

April 21 – Newcastle (A)

April 28 – Rochdale (A)

May 5 – Hunslet (H)

May 19 – North Wales (A)

May 26 – Oldham (H)

June 2 – Midlands Hurricanes (A)

June 16 - BYE

June 23 – Cornwall (A)

June 30 – Workington (A)

July 7 – Rochdale (H)

July 14  - BYE

July 21 – Oldham (A)

July 28 – Midlands (H)

August 4 – Newcastle (H)

August 11 – North Wales (A)

August 18 – Oldham (H)

August 25 – Hunslet (H)

September 1 – Rochdale (A)