Rugby League ESL Challenge Cup - News and Views

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The CC competition may restart with the sixth round in August and finish with the final in October.

Whether Wembley will be available for the Challenge Cup final remains to be seen.
 

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The final of this year's Challenge Cup could still be held at Wembley, the Rugby Football League has confirmed.

This weekend should have seen the final of the Cup at the national stadium. But that was postponed in May because of the suspension of all rugby league because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RFL has announced that the final will now be played on 17 October and that Wembley has been provisionally booked to host the game.

Friday's announcement by the Government that crowds could be able to return to stadiums in England from October would make the Wembley option more viable.

The knock-out competition will recommence in late August with the sixth-round ties that see Wigan play Warrington and St Helens against Salford staged as a double header behind closed doors at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium.

The Wigan v Warrington game will be live on BBC One at 14:30 BST on 22 August, and the Saints v Salford tie, a repeat of last year's Grand Final, will be live on BBC Two at 17:00.

The other six games will be played over the same weekend. But with five non-Super League clubs still involved in the competition , and with no confirmation of whether the Championship and League 1 seasons will resume, there is no clarity yet about how the competition would be restructured.

The likelihood is that should non-Super League clubs be unable to fulfil the cup games then their opponents would be given byes into the quarter-finals.

The quarter-finals have been scheduled for 19 and 20 September, with the semi-finals played as a double header on Saturday, 3 October.

The RFL's chief commercial officer, Mark Foster said: " "We are delighted to be able to confirm the place of the Coral Challenge Cup in the revised schedule for the 2020 Rugby League season, including Saturday October 17 as the new date for the Final.
 

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Holders Warrington will face St Helens in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup in a repeat of last year's final.

The two sides were among six teams given byes to the last eight after the sixth round had to be redrawn following the withdrawals of Toronto and five clubs outside Super League.

In the sixth round, Castleford Tigers will face Hull FC and Catalans Dragons will take on Wakefield Trinity.

Both ties will be held in Huddersfield on 22 August and shown live on the BBC.

Wigan Warriors await the winners of the tie between Castleford and Hull, while whoever comes out on top in the game between Catalans and Wakefield will then meet Salford.

The last of the quarter-finals, which are scheduled for the weekend of 19-20 September, will see Leeds Rhinos face Hull Kingston Rovers.
 

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Draw in full

Sixth round

Castleford Tigers v Hull FC

Catalans Dragons v Wakefield Trinity

Quarter-finals

Warrington Wolves v St Helens

Leeds Rhinos v Hull Kingston Rovers

Castleford Tigers/Hull FC v Wigan Warriors

Catalans Dragons/Wakefield Trinity v Salford Red Devils