Lovegrove awaiting cup draw

Keighley Cougars Rhys Lovegrove

Keighley Cougars coach Rhys Lovegrove will be paying close attention to Thursday’s Challenge Cup draw, as it is then he will find out who his side will play in their first competitive match in over a year.

The Cougars are one of only three League 1 sides in the competition this year as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to cause the game to adapt to the challenges it has brought.

They, along with Barrow Raiders and West Wales Raiders, will be in the hat along with 13 Championship sides and will face a first-round tie on the weekend of March 20th/21st.

Whoever the Cougars are drawn against, Lovegrove believes it will be the perfect way to return to action after so long out.

“We will be looking at the draw with a keen eye,” Lovegrove said.

“With there being three League 1 sides in the competition, it’s going to be a huge challenge for us all, due to the fact we’ll be playing such tough opposition from the league above.

“London away is very different to Batley at home, and Batley away is very different to Newcastle away. There is such a variety of fields, teams, style, full-time and part-time teams that it’s going to be a really interesting challenge for us. But it’s one we’re really excited to get involved with.

“This will be a great way to get back into it.

“Everyone is here to play footie, and everyone who plays footie wants to be at the best level they can be. Whoever we play it will be a really good chance for our lads, especially those who have been in this league for a while now, to test themselves against the division above in a competitive game.

“We had a great fixture against Bradford Bulls in the Cup in 2019 and I’m looking forward to seeing the boys rise to the challenge again.”