Challenge Cup semi-final schedule announced

Leeds Rhinos and St Helens will make history on July 31 when they contest the first Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final to be televised live on a Friday night.

Two clubs with a strong tradition of Friday night action will do battle for a place in the 2015 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final on Saturday August 29 will meet at the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the ground-breaking semi-final, which kicks off on BBC Two at 8.00pm.

Leeds, the Cup holders, and First Utility Super League champions St Helens have featured in some epic contests in recent years, including four Grand Finals, and the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final is guaranteed to provide a highlight of the 2015 season.

The second semi-final, Warrington Wolves v Hull Kingston Rovers, will be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds on Saturday August 1 and will be televised live on BBC One with a 12.45pm kick-off.

Warrington have a strong record in the Cup having triumphed at Wembley in 2009, 2010 and 2012 whilst Hull KR are bidding to reach the Challenge Cup final for the first time since 1986, having last lifted the trophy 35 years ago with a Wembley win against neighbours Hull FC.

RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “The Cup holders versus the Super League champions is the perfect fixture to make television history whilst Warrington v Hull KR will be an outstanding tie at Headingley on the Saturday.

“A first ever Friday night semi-final on TV is an exciting prospect that will allow Leeds and St Helens to showpiece this fantastic sport to a potentially massive audience on BBC Two.

“Following on from the strong attendances and excellent viewing figures on both BBC Sport and Sky Sports from the four quarter-finals, the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is cementing its place as one of the nation’s favourite sporting events.”

The schedule for the 2015 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-finals is as follows:

Friday July 31 – Leeds Rhinos v St Helens (The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, 8.00pm, BBC Two)

Saturday August 1 – Warrington Wolves v Hull Kingston Rovers (Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds, 12.45pm, BBC One)