Magic Weekend

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Magic Weekend
Super League Magic logo.png
Locale St James' Park, Newcastle
Teams 12
First meeting 2007
Latest meeting 2016
Next meeting 2017
Broadcasters Sky Sports
BBC Sport
Statistics
Meetings total 10
Most wins Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors
(7 wins)
Largest victory Redscolours.svg Salford 16–68 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 68–4 Widnes colours.svg Widnes

The Magic Weekend (known as the Dacia Magic Weekend for sponsorship) is an annual event organized by the Rugby Football League in which an entire round of Super League matches is played over a weekend at a single stadium to showcase the sport of rugby league.[1] The first event was held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2007, and subsequent events have taken place at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh; the Etihad Stadium, Manchester;[2] and St James' Park in Newcastle.[3]

Concept[edit]

Millennium Magic logos used for the 2007 event...
...for the 2008 event...
...and for the 2009-2013 events.

The first Millennium Magic round was confirmed in September 2006 for the weekend of 5–6 May 2007.[4][5] Richard Lewis, chairman of the RFL, cited both expansion and monetary reasons for the move to Wales, but the plan also allowed the Super League to be reduced by one round (critics had stated that the players were put under too much strain over the season). The event was funded and promoted by the Welsh Tourist Board, who were looking to build on the Challenge Cup finals which had taken place in Cardiff between 2003 and 2005 due to the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium. After the success of the first Millennium Magic in 2007, it became an annual fixture in the Super League calendar. The event was moved to Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh in 2009 following a bid from the Scottish Tourist Board, and was thus renamed to Murrayfield Magic, and later just the Magic Weekend.

History[edit]

2007: Cardiff[edit]

Three Super League XII fixtures took place on Saturday 5 May 2007, and a further three on Sunday 6 May 2007.

The games played were, where possible, 'local derby' matches in an attempt to maximise interest in the event. The two "non-heartland" sides in Super League at that time, Catalans Dragons and Harlequins RL, were paired against each other. The teams will face their Millennium Magic derby opponents four times during the Super League XII season.

Celtic Crusaders opened the weekend against Oldham Roughyeds in a National League 2 game on the Friday night (4 May) at Brewery Field, Bridgend. This match officially celebrated 100 years of club rugby league in Wales as Oldham were the first ever opponents to Merthyr Tydfil in the first professional game in Wales on 7 September 1907. In an eventful match, Oldham came back from 26-6 down to win 34-26 in front of 3,441 fans, a record attendance for a National League 2 match. It was also the first National League 2 game shown live on British television, covered by Sky Sports.

A 58,831 aggregate crowd saw the Magic event at the Millennium Stadium.[6] Super League clubs agreed to repeat the event during the following season with Nigel Wood, the RFL's chief operating officer, saying: "The clubs and fans thoroughly enjoyed the day and our aim is to make next year's event even bigger and better."[6]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 28–32 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins 5 May 2007 15:00 BST 32,384
Hullcolours.svg Hull 10–14 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 5 May 2007 17:00 BST
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 34–18 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 5 May 2007 19:00 BST
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 36–12 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 6 May 2007 14:00 BST 26,447
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 18–50 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 6 May 2007 16:00 BST
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 38–42 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 6 May 2007 18:00 BST

2008: Cardiff[edit]

As in 2007, three Super League XIII fixtures took place on the Saturday (3 May) and a further three on the Sunday (4 May).

The event again kicked off with the local south Wales team, Celtic Crusaders, but this time they were up against Featherstone Rovers at the Brewery Field, Bridgend in a National League 1 match. The Crusaders won the match by 28 point to 18. The match was held in front of a club record crowd of 6,152.[7]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 34–36 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 3 May 2008 15:00 BST 30,628
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 16–54 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 3 May 2008 17:00 BST
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 26–40 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2008 19:00 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 18–16 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins 4 May 2008 14:30 BST 32,516
Hullcolours.svg Hull 17–22 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 4 May 2008 16:30 BST
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 57–16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 4 May 2008 18:30 BST

2009: Edinburgh[edit]

It was confirmed after the 2008 event that the weekend was to be moved in 2009 to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event included matches based on a seeded draw, using finishing positions from Super League XIII.[8][9]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 16–24 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins 2 May 2009 15:00 BST 29,627
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 16–32 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 2 May 2009 17:00 BST
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 38–18 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 2 May 2009 19:00 BST
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 40–16 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders 3 May 2009 12:30 BST 30,122
Hullcolours.svg Hull 24–16 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 3 May 2009 14:45 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 16–32 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 3 May 2009 17:00 BST
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 28–36 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 3 May 2008 19:00 BST

2010: Edinburgh[edit]

The 2010 Magic weekend took place on 1–2 May 2010 at Murrayfield. After fan criticism of the seeded draw, The RFL decided to ask all 14 Super League clubs whether they would like to revert to derbies. The result favored a seeding again where the top 8 teams faced each other, whilst the bottom six would face the remainders.

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 0–19 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders 1 May 2010 13:00 BST 26,642
Hullcolours.svg Hull 8–25 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins 1 May 2010 15:00 BST
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 16–68 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 1 May 2010 17:00 BST
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 34–30 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 1 May 2010 19:00 BST
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 34–18 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 2 May 2010 14:00 BST 25,401
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 28–10 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 2 May 2010 16:00 BST
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 54–0 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 2 May 2010 18:00 BST

2011: Cardiff[edit]

The Magic Weekend returned to its original location in Cardiff and its Millennium Stadium, and it saw the opening round of the 2011 Super League season on the weekend of 12–13 February 2011.[10] The event also returned to the original format with the majority of the games being local rivalry games.[11]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 28–18 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 12 Feb 2011 13:00 GMT 30,891
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 4–11 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins 12 Feb 2011 15:00 GMT
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 40–20 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 12 Feb 2011 17:00 GMT
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 16–16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 12 Feb 2011 19:00 GMT
Cruscolours.svg Crusaders 42–12 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 13 Feb 2011 12:00 GMT 29,323
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 28–32 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 13 Feb 2011 14:00 GMT
Hullcolours.svg Hull 22–34 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 13 Feb 2011 16:00 GMT

2012: Manchester[edit]

The 2012 event was held at the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club,[12] and was the first time the Magic Weekend was held in England.

The date of the Magic Weekend was changed for 2012, reverting to a mid-season game week rather than as a season opener like 2011. However, unlike the first four Magic Weekends, the matches were played over a weekend at the end of May (after the end of the football season[13]) rather than during the May Day bank holiday weekend at the start of May. Although the last weekend of May is usually the Late Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the Spring bank holiday in 2012 was moved back a weekend as part of the Diamond Jubilee.[14]

Following on from the premise of the majority of previous Magic Weekend, the majority of the fixtures were local rivalry games.[15] 2012 was the first time that Widnes Vikings participated in the Magic Weekend.[16] The aggregate attendance of the weekend was 63,716 (the largest ever).

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 26–32 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 26 May 2012 13:00 BST 30,763
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 68–4 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 26 May 2012 16:00 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 30–32 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 26 May 2012 19:00 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 42–18 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 27 May 2012 12:00 BST 32,953
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 34–38 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 27 May 2012 14:00 BST
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 22–37 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27 May 2012 16:00 BST
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 16–42 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 27 May 2012 18:00 BST

2013: Manchester[edit]

The 2013 Magic Weekend was once again held at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May.[17]

As in 2012, the 2013 Magic Weekend took place after the end of the football season in May, on the late Spring bank holiday weekend.

As in previous years, some of the matches were local rivalries with Castleford playing Wakefield Trinity and Hull F.C. Hull Kingston Rovers, both repeat fixtures from 2012. The other four matches were new fixtures for the Magic Weekend and included St. Helens playing Warrington and Bradford vs Huddersfield, continuing the tradition of having local rivalry matches at the Magic Weekend.

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 46–18 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 25 May 2013 12:00 BST 30,793
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 48–24 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 25 May 2013 14:15 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 22–16 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 25 May 2013 16:30 BST
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 22–48 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 25 May 2012 18:45 BST
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 28–22 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 26 May 2013 15:00 BST 31,249
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 6–42 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 26 May 2013 17:15 BST
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 16–20 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 26 May 2013 19:30 BST

2014: Manchester[edit]

Logo for 2014 edition of the Magic Weekend

On 31 May 2013, less than a week after the 2013 Magic Weekend, the RFL announced that the Magic Weekend would once again return to the Etihad Stadium, Manchester for 2014, with matches being played on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May.[18]

On 23 January 2014, the fixtures were announced with, in a repeat of the 2013 fixtures, four matches set to take place on the Saturday with the remaining three scheduled for Sunday, including four local derbies (Huddersfield-Bradford, Hull Kingston Rovers-Hull F.C., Wakefield Trinity-Castleford and Warrington-St Helens R.F.C.) plus the meeting of the last two winners of the Super League Grand Final, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos. The other matches consisted of Widnes vs Salford and London vs Catalans Dragons.

Controversy was created in the city of Hull following the announcement that the 2014 FA Cup Final was to take place at exactly the same time and date as the fixture between Hull FC and Hull KR, this being the first FA Cup final Hull City had qualified for. The RFL announced on 15 April 2014 that they would not be changing the fixture.[19]

The aggregate attendance of 64,552 was the highest ever for a Magic Weekend, while the Saturday attendance of 36,339 was the highest ever single-day figure until both records were surpassed the consequent year in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.[20]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 22–24 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 17 May 2014 12:30 BST 36,339
Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 30–24 Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 17 May 2014 14:45 BST
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 38–24 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 17 May 2014 17:00 BST
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 18–14 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 17 May 2014 19:15 BST
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 12–50 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 18 May 2014 12:30 BST 28,213
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 54–16 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 18 May 2014 14:45 BST
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 41–24 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 18 May 2014 17:00 BST

2015: Newcastle upon Tyne[edit]

In 2015, the Magic Weekend was forced to move due to construction at the Etihad Stadium, which would commence immediately after the 2014-15 Premier League Season, which meant the Magic Weekend was due to be changed, with Coventry's Ricoh Arena and Newcastle upon Tyne's St James' Park being considered by the RFL. Blake Solly had confirmed that the Etihad and Super League did have a good partnership, but there were alternatives available to host the event.[21] On 10 September 2014, it was confirmed that the Magic Weekend had been awarded to Newcastle for 2015, and would be played 30 and 31 May 2015. With the Super League Reformatting in 2015, the Magic Weekend featured twelve teams and six matches, as opposed to the seven games in previous years.

The event was considered the most successful to date, with a record aggregate attendance of 67,788, a record single-day crowd of 40,871 on the Saturday and an estimated benefit of £4.2 million to the Newcastle economy.[22]

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 16–38 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 30 May 2015 14:30 BST 40,871
Hullcolours.svg Hull 46–20 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 30 May 2015 16:45 BST
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 12–27 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 30 May 2015 19:00 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 22–22 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 31 May 2015 13:00 BST 26,970
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 20–16 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 31 May 2015 15:15 BST
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 56–16 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 31 May 2015 17:30 BST

2016: Newcastle upon Tyne[edit]

After a successful event in Newcastle in 2015, the Magic Weekend returned to St James' Park for the second year running with most fixtures being based upon last season's league standings rather than local derbies. The top four from last season play each other; Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors and St. Helens v Huddersfield Giants. Continuing with this trend, 5th placed Castleford Tigers play 6th placed Warrington Wolves and the two teams in the bottom four last season, Widnes Vikings and Salford Red Devils, play in a repeat of last year's fixture. Last season's bottom placed Wakefield Trinity Wildcats play Catalans Dragons: as the Dragons struggle away from home, this fixture is to give both teams a chance of winning. The only derby this year is the Hull Derby at the end of the weekend.

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 18–12 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 21 May 2016 14:30 BST 39,331
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 14–34 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 21 May 2016 16:45 BST
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 8–40 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 21 May 2016 19:00 BST
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 25–24 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 22 May 2016 13:00 BST 28,945
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 20–48 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 22 May 2016 15:15 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 28–16 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 22 May 2016 17:30 BST

2017: Newcastle upon Tyne[edit]

For the third consecutive season, Magic Weekend will return to Newcastle. This will be the Leigh Centurions' first time playing at the Magic Weekend. This is because Magic Weekend first made an appearance in 2007, two seasons after Leigh's relegation.

Team Score Team Match Information
Date and Time Crowd
Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 20 May 2017 14:30 BST
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 20 May 2017 16:45 BST
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 20 May 2017 19:00 BST
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 21 May 2017 13:00 BST
Leigh colours.svg Leigh Centurions Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 21 May 2017 15:15 BST
Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 21 May 2017 17:30 BST

Future[edit]

With the success of the Auckland Nines tournament in the NRL an appetite for a nines tournament in Super League has grown. Many, most notable Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash calling for the Magic Weekend to be replaced with a nines tournament with all the games being played in one stadium. Many have agreed including players, coaches and owners to reduce the fixture list for player welfare.

Team Statistics[edit]

Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 10 7 1 2 15
2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 10 6 1 3 13
3 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 10 6 0 4 12
4 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 10 6 0 4 12
5 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 10 6 0 4 12
6 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 9 6 0 3 12
7 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 10 4 1 5 9
8 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 10 4 1 5 9
9 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 10 4 0 6 8
10 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 8 4 0 4 8
11 Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils 9 3 0 6 6
12 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 10 3 0 7 6
13 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders 3 2 0 1 4
14 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 5 2 0 3 4
15 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 8 1 2 7 2
16 Leigh colours.svg Leigh Centurions 0 0 0 0 0

Venues[edit]

City Stadium Years
1 England Newcastle St James' Park 2015, 2016, 2017
2 England Manchester Etihad 2012, 2013, 2014
3 Wales Cardiff Millennium Stadium 2007, 2008, 2011
4 Scotland Edinburgh Murrayfield 2009, 2010

Attendances[edit]

Year City Stadium Attendance
2007 Wales Cardiff Millennium Stadium 58,831
2008 Increase 63,144
2009 Scotland Edinburgh Murrayfield Decrease 59,749
2010 Decrease 52,043
2011 Wales Cardiff Millennium Stadium Increase 60,214
2012 England Manchester Etihad Stadium Increase 63,716
2013 Decrease 62,042
2014 Increase 64,552
2015 England Newcastle St James' Park Increase 67,841
2016 Increase 68,276

Highest weekend attendance[edit]

Year City Stadium Attendance
1 2016 England Newcastle St James' Park 68,276
2 2015 England Newcastle St James' Park 67,841
3 2014 England Manchester Etihad Stadium 64,552

Lowest weekend attendance[edit]

Year City Stadium Attendance
1 2010 Scotland Edinburgh Murrayfield 52,043
2 2007 Wales Cardiff Millennium Stadium 58,831
3 2009 Scotland Edinburgh Murrayfield 59,749

Highest single day attendance[edit]

Year City Stadium Attendance
2015 England Newcastle St James' Park 40,871

Lowest single day attendance[edit]

Year City Stadium Attendance
2010 Scotland Edinburgh Murrayfield 25,401

Sponsorship[edit]

From 2016 the Magic Weekend will have a main title sponsor for the first time with Dacia becoming the sponsors.

Year Sponsor Name
2016-2017 Dacia Dacia Magic Weekend

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Magic Weekend heads to Murrayfield" Archived 2 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Super League, 15 July 2008
  2. ^ "RFL Hails Millennium Magic A Success" Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine., The Rugby Football League, May 2007
  3. ^ Thanks for the Most Successful Magic Weekend
  4. ^ Super League. Super League. (2013-08-16). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  5. ^ "Super League could head for Wales". BBC News. 4 July 2006. 
  6. ^ a b BBC Sport (2007-06-21). "New salary cap for Super League". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ "Second-half blitz too much for brave Fev". Johnston Press Digital Publishing. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Magic Weekend On The Move", BBC News, July 2008
  9. ^ "Super League pulls plug on Cardiff", The Independent, July 2008
  10. ^ BBC Sport
  11. ^ Millennium Magic Weekend | 12-13 February 2011 | Engage Super League. Bigcardiff.co.uk. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  12. ^ "Manchester City's Etihad Stadium to host Magic Weekend". BBC. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Magic Weekend comes to Etihad Stadium". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "New bank holiday for Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012". BBC News. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Magic". Super League. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Harrison Drawn In By Magic Atmosphere". Warrington Wolves. Retrieved 26 May 2012. [dead link]
  17. ^ Tickets for The Magic Weekend 2013 now on sale Archived 13 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Superleague.co.uk (2012-12-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  18. ^ "Magic Weekend returns to Etihad Stadium in 2014". Super League. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Hull KR v Hull FC Magic Weekend game will not be moved". BBC Sport. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  20. ^ http://www.therfl.co.uk/news/article/30247/records-tumble-on-a-magic
  21. ^ "Super League waits to discover if Magic Weekend can return to Manchester in 2015". 
  22. ^ Magic Weekend: Supporters make Newcastle sparkle as benefit to city is revealed

External links[edit]