Moving cup final away from Wembley would be a disaster, says Stefan Ratchford

The Warrington fullback insists the powers that be need to forget all talk of moving the Challenge Cup final away from Wembley.

Talk has been rife about the future of the sport’s showpiece event since it emerged last year that the RFL had considered alternative venues for the cup final.

With a lower crowd than usual expected this weekend, due to the Catalans’ involvement, the suggestion has again been raised that the final should, perhaps, move from its spiritual home. Ratchford, however, is adamant that it belongs where it is.

“A lot of the Aussie and Kiwi boys have heard of the Cup and associate it with Wembley,” he said. “It wouldn’t have the same ring to it anywhere else.

“As good as it was playing a semi-final in Bolton, imagine the Challenge Cup final at the University of Bolton Stadium?

“The passion for it is still there and it needs to stay where it is, because it is still held in extremely high regard.

“There’s a special bond between rugby league and Wembley, and being able to walk out at the national stadium. It needs to be left alone. As a kid growing up, it’s the Challenge Cup trophy that gets mentioned the most because everyone wants to play at Wembley.

“And for me that’s no different now. It has a different feeling to Super League.”