ESL ESL Challenge Cup - News and Views

S J

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Coral Challenge Cup final - Leeds v Salford
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday, 17 October Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Radio Leeds & BBC Radio Manchester; live text, radio & TV coverage on BBC Sport website and app.

Salford duo Dan Sarginson and Jack Ormondroyd will miss out on Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Leeds after testing positive for Covid-19.

While the pair continue to self-isolate, the Red Devils welcome Niall Evalds back from injury.

Leeds winger Tom Briscoe, who signed a contract extension with the Rhinos on Wednesday, is poised to feature in his fifth Challenge Cup final.

On-loan forward Bodene Thompson is ruled out because he is cup-tied.

Salford's first Challenge Cup final appearance for 51 years has this week been overshadowed by the positive coronavirus tests returned by two players, their identities unknown until Salford named their 21-man squad on Thursday.

While Sarginson and Ormondroyd have been ruled out, both Lee Mossop and Mark Flanagan have been cleared to feature after initially returning inconclusive results.

After being retested, they were found to be negative and were allowed to rejoin the squad.
 

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Squads

Leeds Rhinos (from): Walker, T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Lui, Gale, Seumanufagai, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Myler, Cuthbertson, Oledzki, Smith, L Briscoe, Donaldson, A Sutcliffe, Holroyd.

Salford Red Devils (from): Evalds, Welham, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Lannon, Pauli, McCarthy, Ikahihifo, Burke, Yates, Atkin, Flanagan, Greenwood, Williams, Kear, Roberts, Watkins.
 

S J

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Leeds legend Rob Burrow has been named as chief guest "in absentia" for Saturday's Challenge Cup final between the Rhinos and Salford at Wembley.

Burrow announced in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
 

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Coral Challenge Cup
Leeds (12) 17
Tries: Handley 2, Briscoe Goals: Martin 2 Drop-goal: Gale
Salford (6) 16
Tries: Williams, Pauli, Greenwood Goals: Inu 2

Luke Gale kicked a late drop-goal as Leeds rallied to beat Salford and win a first Challenge Cup in five years.

Ash Handley scored two of the Rhinos' three tries, while fellow winger Tom Briscoe broke a Wembley record with his seventh try in a Challenge Cup final.

Salford briefly led when Pauli Pauli and James Greenwood both scored to build on Wales winger Rhys Williams' stunning breakaway first-half try.

But Handley's second try to go to 16-16 was followed by Gale's one-pointer.

Gale was just wide with his first attempt at the sticks but when he had another effort, this one sailed over, to leave last year's beaten Super League Grand Finalists Salford heartbroken in their first Wembley final since 1969.
 

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Challenge Cup: Final Richie's voice has Leeds partying all night long
 

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LEEDS 17 (Ash Handley 2, Tom Briscoe tries; Rhyse Martin 2 goals; Luke Gale field goal);

defeated

SALFORD 16 (Rhys Williams, Pauli Pauli, James Greenwood tries; Krisnan Inu 2 goals) at Wembley Stadium. Referee: Liam Moore.
 

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The BBC has agreed an extended deal with the Rugby Football League to broadcast the Challenge Cup until 2024.

The new agreement will see the BBC broadcast the Wheelchair Challenge Cup final for the first time on its digital platforms as well as continuing to show the Women's Challenge Cup final.

The BBC will show the men's final, both semi-finals plus two matches from the quarter-finals and last 16 from 2022.

The BBC Sport website will continue to show games from the earlier rounds.
 

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League One side West Wales Raiders will welcome seven-time winners Widnes Vikings in the opening round of the 2021 Challenge Cup.

Bradford will take on fellow Championship side Featherstone when the competition gets under way in March.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, just 13 Championship teams and three League One teams will contest the early stages.

French side Toulouse opted not to participate in this season's competition, which begins on 20 and 21 March, while Super League clubs will enter at the third round stage on the weekend of 10 and 11 April.

Both the first and second rounds of the competition were drawn live on the BBC on Thursday, with former St Helens and England forward Jon Wilkin conducting the draw on his own due to Covid restrictions.

The other League One sides, Keighley Cougars and Barrow Raiders, were drawn against London Broncos and Oldham respectively.

Meanwhile, Whitehaven will take on Dewsbury, Swinton face newly-promoted Newcastle Thunder, Halifax meet former winners Batley while York travel to Sheffield.

Should West Wales progress past the first round stage of the competition, they will take on the winner of Whitehaven's tie against Dewsbury.
 

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I like to see Halifax and Oldham do well. I still remember Halifax playing St Helens in the 1987 Challenge Cup Final - the first one I can ever recall watching.
My Dad was born near Oldham, in the soccer he supports Oldham Athletic