Structure revealed for 2023 edition of 1895 Cup for lower-league clubs

FOUR clubs will contest this year’s 1895 Cup, which was introduced in 2019 as the latest in a succession of knockout competitions for teams outside Super League.

The entrants will be the winners of the four Challenge Cup fifth-round ties around the weekend of April 22/23.

Those sides will join the twelve top-flight clubs in round six around the weekend of May 20/21.

The 1895 Cup will start on the same weekend as the Challenge Cup semi-finals, which take place on Saturday, July 22.

If any of the four teams involved remain in the Challenge Cup, their 1895 Cup semi-final will be rearranged.

The 1895 Cup final will be the last of four at Wembley on a busy Saturday, August 12, following those of the Year 7 popular Champion Schools competition, the Women’s Challenge Cup and the men’s showpiece.

It’s the first time both Challenge Cup finals have been played alongside each other.

Last year’s third 1895 Cup competition involved the winners of the then-five Challenge Cup fifth-round ties, meaning the semi-finals were preceded by a play-off, in which Sheffield beat Whitehaven.

Leigh then beat Sheffield while Featherstone defeated Barrow to set up a showdown which the former won 30-16 in a curtain-raiser to Wigan’s Challenge Cup final triumph over Huddersfield at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Holders Leigh’s promotion to Super League means they can’t defend the trophy.