Challenge Cup first round draw to take place at Wembley

The draw for the first round of the 2015 Challenge Cup will take place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday January 8 from 12.45pm.

The draw sees a large geographical spread of 40 teams set out on the road that will lead back to the world’s most iconic venue on Saturday August 29 for the final of Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious knockout competition.

All 40 clubs will participate in the country’s most prestigious club competition and will form the first two rounds, which will be played on the weekend of January 31 – February 1 and February 14-15 respectively.

The 10 winning teams from the second round will then face Kingstone Press League 1 opposition in the third round (March 7-8). Kingstone Press Championship clubs enter the fray in the fourth (April 21-22). The bottom four teams at the end of the 2014 First Utility Super League season enter in Round 5 (April 18-19) with the top eight Super League teams from 2014 joining in Round 6 ( May 16-17).

The third tier of the Rugby League pyramid has the most participants in the first round draw, with 23 clubs representing the Kingstone Press National Conference League. Leicester Storm and Nottingham Outlaws will represent Conference League South.

Scotland and Wales both have participating teams, as Aberdeen Warriors prepare for their second appearance in the tournament alongside Valley Cougars, the Conference League South Grand Final winners, whilst University and College Rugby League teams Leeds Beckett University and Loughborough University represent the education sector.

All three Armed Forces teams are represented – the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy – whilst Great Britain Police look to build on their extra-time second round exit last year.

From the game’s fourth tier, Cumbria Men’s League champions Walney Central are entered whilst, at the other end of the country, Harry Jepson Trophy winners, South West London Chargers are looking forward to their participation for a second successive season.

The North West Men’s League champions Widnes West Bank are entered along with Hunslet Parkside, Queens, Scarborough Pirates and Sharlston Rovers who complete the list.

Full list of participating clubs:
Aberdeen Warriors, Blackbrook, East Leeds, Egremont Rangers, Elland, Featherstone Lions, Great Britain Police Rugby League, Hull Dockers, Hunslet Parkside (previously Old Boys), Hunslet Warriors, Kells, Leeds Beckett University, Leicester Storm, Leigh Miners Rangers, Lock Lane, Loughborough University, Myton Warriors, Normanton Knights, Oulton Raiders, Queens, Rochdale Mayfield, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Saddleworth Rangers, Scarborough Pirates, Sharlston Rovers, Shaw Cross Sharks, Siddal, Skirlaugh, South West London Chargers, Thatto Heath Crusaders, The Army, Valley Cougars, Walney Central, Wath Brow Hornets, West Hull, Widnes West Bank, Wigan St Judes, York Acorn

The first round ties will be played over the weekend of January 31 and February 1.