Leigh to host Challenge Cup semi finals and Women’s final

Leigh will host the semi-finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup on Saturday, June 5 as part of a triple-header in front of an anticipated 4,000-strong crowd.

Hull versus St Helens will kick off at 2.30pm, followed by Castleford versus Warrington at 5pm, with ties screened live on BBC One and BBC Two respectively.

The two men’s fixtures will follow the Women’s Challenge Cup final, which starts at 11.45am and will be live on BBC Two – a first for women’s Rugby League.

The women’s semi-finals take place at York on Saturday, with York taking on Castleford at 12.30pm and St Helens facing holders Leeds at 3pm.

Both games will be streamed by BBC Sport on Red Button and iPlayer – and highlights are to be shown on Sky Sports the following Monday.

No tickets will be sold for the two fixtures at the request of the stadium authorities, although a limited number of passes will be made available to the four competing teams.

Covid restrictions mean the capacity for the triple-header at Leigh Sports Village will be severely limited.

Each of the four men’s semi-finalists will be given an initial allocation of approximately 600 tickets.

Details for the women’s competition finalists will be confirmed in the week starting May 24.

The RFL are working with government and other relevant authorities on the possibility of increasing the capacity, based around staggered entry to the stadium of supporters of the six teams.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s chief commercial officer, said: “After the whole Betfred Challenge Cup competition was played behind closed doors in 2020, this does represent a step in the right direction – with every reason to be hopeful of a much bigger crowd at Wembley on July 17 for the final.

“For Women’s Rugby League, live coverage on BBC Two of the Challenge Cup Final represents another significant milestone.

“We know the restrictions on capacity at Leigh Sports Village are going to mean frustration and disappointment for some who would want to support their teams in person.

“We share that frustration, but this event was scheduled over six months ago and it became clear recently, that while it is great that fans would be allowed inside the stadium, it was going to be an event with unique challenges, involving six teams playing at the same stadium in the period between the partial reopening of stadiums to fans in step three of the government roadmap out of lockdown, and the further easing in step for later in June.”

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