'Gades facing early tests

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

From Ed Hervey to Greg Marshall to Kelly Wiltshire, there will be no shortage of story lines when the Renegades line up for their first game in 2005.

Given the flip-flopping of personnel between the two teams this winter, it's only fitting that Ottawa's opener will be played against the Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

After a two-game pre-season schedule that starts in Montreal June 9 and concludes against the Alouettes at Frank Clair Stadium one week later, the Renegades will begin their fourth campaign on June 24, tackling the Esks in TSN's first Friday Night Football game of the CFL season.

The Renegades will open their home schedule against the Als the following Friday, which also happens to be Canada Day, then take to the road again for a Week 3 meeting with the West Division champion B.C. Lions.

The Renegades, though, aren't complaining about facing such a tough lineup out of the gate.

"The schedule is good for us," team president Brad Watters said yesterday from Las Vegas. "We got a Canada Day game, which we wanted to have. There's spacing out in the the summer and some good games in the fall. We like the schedule."

The Renegades two bye weeks are Week 10 (late August) and Week 17 (mid-October). The second one comes during a homestretch that sees them play division rivals in each of their last five games.

The Renegades' season finale is in Ottawa on Nov. 5 against the Argos, who they mysteriously once again only play twice, and not until Sept. 29.

The Renegades play Hamilton and Montreal three times each.

According to the CFL schedule released by the league yesterday, only five games all season are not televised on TSN, RDS or CBC -- three of them away games of the Renegades.

The season kicks off on June 22 when the Tiger-Cats visit Montreal in the lone Wednesday night game of the campaign.


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