RFL brings Challenge Cup draw back to England

The RFL has confirmed that Monday’s draw for the Sixth Round of the Coral Challenge Cup will now be held in the UK.

Officials from the RFL and New York Rugby League decided in the last 24 hours not to proceed with plans to hold the draw in New York. The draw will instead be held at MediaCity in Salford, and will be broadcast on BBC Sport Online and Our League at the advertised time of 6pm.

Negotiations are at an advanced stage for New York Rugby League to enter the game’s oldest knock-out competition in 2021, which is why plans were made some time ago for the city to host the draw. It is likely that a New York draw will be held in the future, probably in 2021.

The Sixth Round marks the entry of eight Super League heavyweights into the cup, including the 2019 winners Warrington Wolves – each needing only three wins to secure their place in the final at Wembley, which will this year be played on an earlier date of Saturday 18 July.

Already in the hat following Fifth Round victories are Featherstone Rovers, Toronto Wolfpack and Wakefield Trinity. Five games are scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday 15 March), including Newcastle Thunder’s home tie against Dewsbury Rams which will be shown live on BBC Sport at 3pm. The other Sunday ties are Hull KR v Leigh Centurions, Sheffield Eagles v Workington Town, Widnes Vikings v Swinton Lions and York City Knights v Rochdale Hornets (to be played at the Millennium Stadium, Featherstone).

Monday’s draw will include the eight Fifth Round winners, plus Castleford Tigers, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors.

Round Six ties are scheduled for the weekend of 4/5 April, although this is subject to change.

Monday’s League Express will have reports on all the weekend’a Challenge Cup matches, as well as a full interview with New York Rugby League’s Ricky Wilby about his plans for the new club.