St Helens forward Jon Wilkin admits he is keen for the Challenge Cup final to return to its old schedule, with the final taking place in May as opposed to the current date in August.
The competition has been played out over a longer period of the season since 2005, with Hull winning the first Challenge Cup final to be held under the changes in 2005. And Wilkin believes that the current schedule lacks substance, and the format needs to revert to its old method in order to be a success.
“The one thing I’d really like to see is the cup brought back to a May final. I think in terms of consistency and the continuity of the game. For the coverage of the game I think dragging the cup out with six to eight weeks between each game doesn’t really work,” Wilkin said.
“In terms of building momentum around the cup I think that needs to change. We talk about the cup losing some of its charm, and I think all of that is based around the scheduling of the games. I think that if we get the cup final back as that May fixture where it’s huge to be at your best at the start of the year can give the competition a bit of a focus.
“I know that people are pushing for it to happen and that it is the case. That will be the big thing, because the cup has got something no other competition has got – the tradition and heritage. When you play in the cup you know you’re treading a path that so many great players have gone on before.”
There is an EXTENDED version of this interview in Thursday’s DIGITAL-ONLY edition of League Express, which is released at 7:30pm. For more details on the edition – including how you can win tickets to every major final this year – hit this link.