The Totally Wicked Stadium will become the 12th venue to host a competitive Hull derby when Hull FC and Hull KR take to the field on Thursday night.
It’s not been a universally popular decision to host the game in St Helens, with both sides having to travel approximately two hours down the M62 to get to Merseyside, which is currently in a Tier 3 area.
That’s not to mention the two hour drive back, having regularly seen journeys disrupted by diversions and roadworks already, while playing at neutral grounds this season.
However, the clash sees Rovers take on Hull in a new environment and even though there will be no fans in attendance, it promises to be a fiery affair.
All but 15 competitive derbies have been held within the city boundaries, with Craven Street and the Boulevard seeing the very first games between the two sides.
Over the years as the two sides have moved grounds, the fixture has been played at the Old Craven Park and of course, the current homes of the two sides, the KCOM Stadium and the ‘new’ Craven Park, which Rovers moved into in 1989.
Boothferry Park, the former home of Hull City, saw 10 derbies, including the 1984 Yorkshire Cup final and the 1985 John Player Special Trophy final, with more than 25,000 people attending both games.
Hull KR have won three of the five derbies played at Headingley over the years, with their famous 11-7 win over FC in the 1981 Premiership final coming in Leeds. However, FC got their revenge with a 12-4 win over KR at the same venue in the 1982 John Player Trophy final.
Rovers fans need no reminding about the one trip to Wembley the derby has taken, while various Magic Weekends have seen the derby played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and Newcastle’s St James’ Park in the modern era.
However, the derby has travelled even further afield in the past with FC and KR having the pleasure of taking rugby league to Cornwall in June 1962.
In an effort to spread the game to the South West of England, both clubs made the long trip down to the Cornish peninsula for three exhibition matches, which were played in Penzance, Camborne and Falmouth across three consecutive nights.
Cornish-born winger Graham Paul was part of the Rovers side to travel down, but on his homecoming he wasn’t able to prevent the Black and Whites from enjoying a 57-26 win in front of 2,000 spectators in Penzance in the first of the trilogy of games.
Hull would go on to win all three encounters, which are regarded as the first official rugby league matches to be played in Cornwall, winning 38-26 and 44-29 over the next two evenings.