Sheffield Eagles drop out of Challenge Cup

Sheffield Eagles have pulled out of the Challenge Cup – while confirming they will not enter the RFL’s Autumn competition.

The Eagles joined the likes of Halifax, Rochdale and Sheffield in opting out of the RFL’s option competition devised to provide competition for clubs following the cancellation of Championship and League 1.

But the Eagles will not participate, and become the first of five non-Super League clubs left in the Challenge Cup to pull out.

An RFL meeting took place last night where a redraw was discussed.

“These steps have been taken to help safeguard our long-term future,” club statement read.

“The RFL’s decision to declare the 2020 Betfred Championship null and void we believe was the right one. Our governing body consulted with clubs rigorously over the past few months in what has been an ever-changing landscape.

“There was no decision that could have been made that would have satisfied all clubs and understand the frustration expressed by some but the work the RFL carried out to try and return was thorough with the decision reflecting feedback from clubs across both divisions.

“Whilst the proposed Autumn competition would allow spectators to return to matches, the financial burden placed on the club to do so would have been severe, including but not limited to Covid-19 testing, additional training & match day costs and removing our 22 players and 2 staff from the government’s furlough scheme.

“Costs would have far outweighed any income generated and our utmost importance is the welfare of our players which we felt could have been compromised should we have competed in either competition.”