Leeds United’s Elland Road will host the 2022 Women’s Challenge Cup final and the semi-finals of the men’s competition on Saturday, 7th May.
For the third time running the women’s final will be part of a triple header, following the 2019 edition in Bolton and the 2021 final being staged in Leigh.
The RFL have targeted a record domestic attendance for the women’s final, aiming to beat the 4,235 set across Leeds at Headingley for the Super League Grand Final in October.
The men’s semis will both be played alongside that match at Elland Road, which has a capacity of almost 38,000, with the winners playing their final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium just three weeks later on Saturday, 28th May.
“The growing profile of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League has been a huge success story for the game in recent years, and taking the 2022 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final to Elland Road represents another significant step forward,” said Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer.
“Elland Road is a Premier League football stadium with a strong history of staging big Rugby League occasions, including one famous men’s Challenge Cup Final replay between Hull FC and Widnes in 1982. Now the Betfred Challenge Cup triple header will fall firmly into that category.”
Elland Road will also host the draw for the first round of the women’s Challenge Cup on Tuesday, 7th December, which will be conducted by England footballer Gemma Bonner.
The competition will have a new format for 2022, with 16 participating clubs entering a group stage. With four seeded groups of four, each team will play three matches with the teams finishing in the top two places of each qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Women’s Challenge Cup 2022 – First Round seedings:
Pool One – St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, York City Knights, Castleford Tigers
Pool Two – Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Giants, Featherstone Rovers, Warrington Wolves
Pool Three – Bradford Bulls, Wakefield Trinity, Barrow Raiders, Leigh Miners Rangers
Pool Four – The Army, Hull FC, Oulton Raidettes, Widnes Vikings