Challenge Cup history to be made as Irish rugby league team ends 20-year wait for inclusion

THE most prestigious rugby league competition – the Challenge Cup – is set to have a new name involved in 2023 with the Dublin City Exiles returning to the tournament for the first time in 20 years.

The Dublin City Exiles were formed in 2000 by a number of Australian expatriates based in the Irish capital.

The governing body for the development of rugby league in Ireland, Rugby League Ireland, was formed the same year, and in the first RLI season the Exiles reached the 2001 All Ireland final.

The club, competing in the Leinster Conference of the Ireland National League, went on to win the 2002 and 2003 All Ireland finals and competed in the 2003 Challenge Cup competition but have been absent ever since.

Now, the Exiles have ended their 20-year exile from the competition.

The club tweeted: “Following winning the Irish Rugby League in 2022, Dublin City Exiles have qualified to enter the Challenge Cup based in the UK. It has been a 20 year wait for this momentous occasion.

“The 2023 competition will be the 121st edition of the Challenge Cup, the main rugby league knockout tournament in the UK.

“To fund this expedition and help our traveling players we have set up a GoFundMe. All donations are much appreciated and will go to making sure our players have everything they need to be the first Irish team to win a Challenge Cup game.”

The link for the GoFundMe page can be found here.