SAINTS will kick off the 2019 Super League Super League campaign with a mouthwatering home clash against Wigan Warriors in a blockbuster between last year's League Leaders Shield winners and the Champions.

It is meant to give the season a massive start - backed by a big crowd -and the fiercest of rugby league derbies will certainly bring new signings Lachlan Coote, Joseph Paulo and Kevin Naiqama up to speed straight away.

It is not the first time the season has started with a Wigan derby, the Magic game at Cardiff in 2011 was the last time.

It will be the first of three times that Saints will play the Warriors with the Good Friday clash at Wigan this term and the third encounter at TWS on 12 July.

In Round Two, Saints travel to last year's surprise package Wakefield with a home game against Leeds the round after.

The Dacia Magic Weekend will be played on the second Bank Holiday weekend in May (Round 16) with fixtures and the venue for the 2019 festival to be confirmed next week.

Saints face London three times, twice away at Ealing.

Each team will play 29 fixtures – 14 at home and 14 away, plus the Magic round – meaning they play seven of the other 11 teams three times, and the other four twice.

That fixture pattern has been determined by the teams’ finishing positions in 2018.

Old Trafford will stage the 22nd Grand Final on Saturday October 12, the culmination of a return to the Top Five Play-Offs which produced the original Grand Final in 1998.

That means the winners of the League Leaders’ Shield will take a direct passage to Old Trafford with victory in a single home match in the second round of the Play-Offs – whereas the team finishing fifth would have to win three away matches to make the Grand Final.

Robert Elstone, the chief executive of Super League Europe, said: “The 2019 season will mark a change of direction for the Super League, and the start of exciting new beginnings.

“We want our fans to be really excited about that first weekend, and how better to do that than with a Saints-Wigan derby, pitting the champions against their local rivals who were also last year’s League Leaders? And then to follow it up with a Hull derby?

“We’re equally excited about the extra Saturday games which our broadcast partners at Sky Sports are showing in the early stages of the season, allowing the drama of the opening round of matches to unfold throughout the weekend.

“Throw in the World Club Challenge between Wigan Warriors and the Sydney Roosters, the unique appeal and challenge of Super League’s Easter weekend – and of course the season builds to a real climax with the battle for places in the Top Five Play-Offs, building to the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.”

Saints fixtures:

1. Thursday, 31 January. St Helens v Wigan Warriors.

2. Sunday, 10 February. Wakefield Trinity v St Helens.

3. Friday, 22 February. St Helens v Leeds Rhinos.

4. Thursday, 28 February. Salford Red Devils v St Helens.

5. Friday, 8 March. St Helens v London Broncos.

6. Thursday, 14 March. Huddersfield Giants v St Helens.

7. Friday, 22 March. Castleford Tigers v St Helens.

8. Friday 29 March. St Helens. Hull Kingston Rovers.

9. Saturday 6 April. Catalans Dragons v St Helens.

10. Friday 12 April. St Helens v Warrington Wolves.

11. Friday, 19 April. Wigan Warriors v St Helens.

12. Monday, 22 April. St Helens v Hull FC.

13. Sunday, 28 April. St Helens v Catalans Dragons.

14. Sunday, 5 May. Hull Kingston Rovers v St Helens.

15. Friday, 17 May. St Helens v Salford Red Devils.

16. Sunday, 9 June. London Broncos v St Helens.

17. Friday, 14 June. St Helens v Huddersfield Giants.

18. Friday, 21 June. St Helens v Leeds Rhinos.

19. Friday, 28 June. Warrington Wolves v. St Helens.

20. Friday, 5 July. Hull FC v St Helens.

21. Friday, 12 July. St Helens v Wigan Warriors.

22. Sunday, 21 July. London Broncos v St Helens.

23. Friday, 2 August. St Helens v Wakefield Trinity.

24. Friday, 9 August. Warrington Wolves v St Helens.

25. Sunday, 18 August. Leeds Rhinos v St Helens.

26. Friday, 30 August. St Helens v Castleford Tigers.

27. Friday, 6 September. St Helens v Huddersfield Giants.

28. Friday, 13 September. Hull FC v St Helens.

All evening games kick off at 7.45pm, all Sundays are currently sheduled for 3pm, and Catalans away is 6pm.