8th April 2021, 10:39 | challengecup
The allure of Wembley Stadium in July – this time with the return of fans – takes centre stage in Rugby League this weekend, as four Championship clubs join the 12 Super League heavyweights battling for places in the Quarter Finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup.
The Quarter Final draw will take place on Saturday evening, to be shown live on BBC2 at half-time in their second televised Third Round tie between Catalans Dragons and Wakefield Trinity.
By that time, four places in the last eight will have been secured – with two ties on Friday night, followed by Widnes’s intriguing trip to Salford on Saturday lunchtime, and then the blockbuster between the Super League champions St Helens and the Challenge Cup holders Leeds Rhinos, which is the BBC’s first live match of Saturday afternoon (230pm kick-off, with coverage starting on BBC one from 2pm).
The Friday night action starts with the first of five ties which are being streamed live on Our League over the weekend – Hull KR versus Castleford Tigers, a repeat of the 1986 Wembley Final best-remembered for Jamie Sandy’s grin, and the clubs’ first Challenge Cup meeting since then.
All Our League games this weekend are available on a pay per view basis, for an Early Bird price of £4.95 until the day of the match – meaning the Early Bird window for the Rovers-Tigers clash closes at midnight tonight. You can purchase your passes here.
That is followed by a tie available free to all through The Sportsman – who will focus York City Knights for the second time in this year’s Betfred Challenge Cup, this time their plum tie at home to Wigan Warriors. Kick-off is 745pm, with coverage starting at 730pm.
Saturday’s action kicks off with Salford Red Devils, aiming for a repeat of last year’s run to a first Wembley final since 1969, hosting Widnes Vikings – and concludes with another Championship versus Super League encounter, as Hull FC travel to Featherstone Rovers in a repeat of the 1983 Final when Rovers sprung one of the great Wembley upsets.
That leaves two ties for Sunday – with Swinton Lions relishing a mammoth task against Warrington Wolves at Heywood Road at 1230pm, before an all-Super League meeting between Leigh Centurions and Huddersfield Giants at 230pm.
The Quarter Finals will be played on May 8-9, as two double headers, each on a neutral ground. Sky Sports will show two ties live on Friday May 7, then the BBC will show two live on Saturday May 9.
That is also Quarter Final weekend in the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup – with the draw to follow the two preliminary round ties on Sunday April 25 (Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves, and York City Knights v Wakefield Trinity).
Betfred Challenge Cup quarter final draw numbers:
1 Hull KR or Castleford Tigers
2 York City Knights or Wigan Warriors
(both to be decided Friday night)
3 Salford Red Devils or Widnes Vikings
4 St Helens or Leeds Rhinos
(both to be decided Saturday afternoon)
5 Catalans Dragons or Wakefield Trinity
6 Featherstone Rovers or Hull FC
7 Swinton Lions or Warrington Wolves
8 Leigh Centurions or Huddersfield Giants