28th August 2018, 14:27 | ChallengeCup
As Catalans Dragons were preparing to play Warrington Wolves in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final, they had support from 2018 FIFA World Cup Winner – Benjamin Mendy.
A Twitter exchange between the French full-back and his compatriot Ben Garcia revealed where the Manchester City players’ allegiances lie. Will we see Mendy support Les Dracs at the Jungle this weekend?
Catalans’ Challenge Cup victory saw the region in party mood after the shock win and saw a European name on the trophy for the first time since continental sides entered the competition in 1997.
As Catalonia has come together to celebrate Les Dracs win, the Challenge Cup Trophy is set to be paraded at the Barcelona vs Girona game on September 23rd.
These two famous Catalonian soccer sides will host the oldest Trophy in Rugby League at a significant cultural epicentre for the region – Camp Nou.
Brad Billsborough has endured a testing season with his club side, Swinton Lions, with the club sitting second bottom of the Betfred Championship Shield table.
Despite this, he earned a call-up to the German national side for their World Cup Qualifier against the Czech Republic this weekend.
In a shock victory, Billsborough scored 12 of his sides 24 points to beat the 2012 European Bowl winners and leave his side a point away from the European RLWC playoffs.
Catalans weren’t the only ones to create history at Wembley last weekend, as Caitlin Beevers became the first female Rugby League official to take charge at Wembley Stadium, refereeing the Champion Schools final between Wade Deacon and St John Fishers.
She is used to receiving medals, however, as she’s fresh from winning the Challenge Cup as a player with Leeds Rhinos Women.
Well yesterday was probably one of the best days of my life. Having the opportunity to officiate at Wembley is amazing in its self but being the first female to referee there feels absolutely unreal! Also a massive well done to the other officials, you were all amazing😊🏉pic.twitter.com/nTBesAHGVi— Caitlin Beevers (@CaitlinBeevers1) August 26, 2018
Les Dracs victory last weekend has inspired many playing Rugby League across the globe, winning the cup as a non-British side for the first time.
One famous name that is aiming to replicate them is Red Star Belgrade, who has announced their intent to join the Challenge Cup in 2019.
They have also extended the invite to National Conference League, League 1 & Championship teams to play against the Serbian side, who finished as Runners Up in the 2017 Balkan Super League.
After Catalans made Challenge Cup history this weekend, we can announce that we have have submitted a formal bid to enter the Challenge Cup for the 2019 season, in an effort to prove our worth to the Rugby League... https://t.co/WFZzJHB3i8— Red Star Belgrade Rugby League Club (@RedStarRL) August 27, 2018
Fans at the National Stadium on Saturday would have seen members of the Walk to Wembley challenge being recieved as the completed their mammoth 185 mile journey from Leeds to North London.
The walk was in memory of Evan Hawksworth, a player from Stanley Rangers RLFC, who tragically passed away after their match with Batley Boys.
Nine members of his family, along with members of the Wakefield Hawks side, completed the walk to raise money for RL Cares - their justgiving page is still open, and you can donate here. Well done to all involved!