Challenge Cup to be redrawn following withdrawals

The Challenge Cup round of 16 will be re-drawn after the withdrawal of six sides.

Toronto Wolfpack’s decision to step off the field this year had already left the cup a team down but all five non-Super League clubs; Newcastle, York, Featherstone, Widnes and Sheffield, have all joined them in opting out of the competition.

As a result, the RFL have decided to undertake a re-draw, which will see the 10 remaining Super League sides in the competition enter a revised last 16 draw, which will also feature six byes.

The two sixth round ties to be played will take place at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, August 22nd live on the BBC.

The RFL say they will confirm further details later today.

RFL chairman Simon Johnson said: “As with so much of sport and society in recent months, we have faced unique challenges in reshaping the Coral Challenge Cup.

“We are wholly sympathetic to the Championship and League 1 clubs who had earned places in the Sixth Round, but for various reasons and quite understandably, do not now feel it would be in their best interests to continue in the competition.

“We believe that the fairest way to proceed from here is to redraw, meaning two Sixth Round ties and the other six clubs receiving a bye to the Quarter Finals. We hope that supporters and clubs will understand this decision.

“Given the quality of the clubs remaining in the competition, it means we are guaranteed some mouthwatering ties.

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Coral, the BBC and the clubs for their recognition that we have had to be flexible given such an unusual situation.

“We are very pleased that the Coral Challenge Cup will continue, and the sport can look forward to some more memorable occasions and fascinating chapters in this historic competition.”