WITHIN the next fortnight champions Saints will find out who, where and when they will play in Super League XXVII.

The fixtures are set to be published on November 25, but there are quite a few things we already understand.

After the disruption caused by Covid and lockdown during the past two seasons the competition will comprise 27 games.

That will involve the 12 Super League clubs playing each other home and away, with five additional loop fixtures including a Magic Weekend game. So that is 13 home games for Saints.

The 2022 Grand Final will be staged at Old Trafford earlier than normal – on Saturday September 24.

This is because the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup kicks off in Newcastle on 15 October when England face Samoa.

The season is expected to start on the weekend beginning Thursday, 10 February.

We already know from the Championship fixtures yesterday that the weekend of 18/19 June has been set aside for a mid-season international.

The top-flight clubs will also have to factor in the Betfred Challenge Cup rounds, with Super League clubs entering at the last 16 stage.

That would take out four weekends for the Challenge Cup in total, including the final.

With the Grand Final fixed on 24 September, that would mean the semi the week before and the eliminators on 8/9 September in a top six play offs.

So, doing the maths that will leave clubs packing in 27 Super League rounds into the 25 remaining weeks between 10 February and the last week of the regular season on 1 September.

That will inevitably two weeks of midweek games or Easter style double weekends.

This is still two games fewer than were played in 2019 or that were originally planned for 2020.

The venue or date for next week’s Magic has not been confirmed. Newcastle, which hosts the opening World Cup game, is hugely popular as a venue but could rugby league sell the city twice in a year?

Unless they go early, the more likely date option is between the Challenge Cup Final on 28 May and the several weeks before the last regular game on 1/2/3 September.

If the Magic fixture is formulated on the 1 v 3, 2 v 4 etc basis of previous years it would see Saints (2) playing Wigan (4).

The competition will see new faces in the arrival of promoted Toulouse to become Super League XXVII’s second French club.

That will mean an extra trip to France – and maybe one more if that is how the loop fixture works.

Some interested eyes will be on Catalans’ fixtures given they have already declared they will be playing one home fixture at Olympique Marseille football ground.

Another interesting date to look out for will be Easter, with Saints’ last Good Friday game against Wigan being at the DW in 2019.

The Good Friday game was cancelled due to lockdown in 2020 and pushed back to July in 2021, so technically it should be Saints’ turn to host it.