17th July 2020, 09:55 | ChallengeCup
The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup will resume at the Sixth Round stage in August – with the Final to be played on Saturday October 17.
The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final had been scheduled to be played this weekend at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
The RFL confirmed in May that the Final would be postponed because of the suspension of all Rugby League activity since March. But with the Super League season resuming on August 2, dates for the remaining rounds of the Cup have been included in the schedule for the rest of 2020.
The Coral Challenge Cup had reached the last 16 stage following the completion of the eight Fifth Round ties on the last weekend before the suspension of the season in March, and will return with a bang on Saturday August 22 with a Double Header broadcast live on the BBC from the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield.
Warrington Wolves, the 2019 Wembley winners, will face local rivals Wigan Warriors at 2:30pm in a tie to be shown live on BBC1, followed by St Helens launching their campaign to go one better than last year’s Wembley defeat against Salford Red Devils at 5pm in a repeat of last year’s Super League Grand Final - with that tie live on BBC2.
The other Sixth Round games will also be played over the same weekend of August 22-23.
The Quarter Finals have been rescheduled for the weekend of September 19-20; the Semi Finals for Saturday October 3; and the Final to follow two weeks later on Saturday October 17 with a 3:00pm kick off live on BBC1.
Venues for all other fixtures, including the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final, have still to be confirmed.
Full details of the Sixth Round will be confirmed by the end of July, following a deadline for the five Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs remaining in the competition to inform the RFL whether they feel able to continue.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the place of the Coral Challenge Cup in the revised schedule for the 2020 Rugby League season, including Saturday October 17 as the new date for the Final.
“This should have been the sport’s annual weekend at Wembley. We recognised some time ago that a July final would not be possible, but it’s fantastic that we are now able to announce the return of this year’s competition - and it’s exciting to start with a Double Header live on the BBC.
“We have all seen the record audiences they have achieved for their Premier League football coverage in recent weeks, so this is a real opportunity to showcase the best of our sport.
“It is also fitting that the Double Header will take place in Huddersfield as we celebrate 125 Years of Rugby League almost to the day, and that famous meeting at The George Hotel at the end of August in 1895.
“We are grateful for the support of Coral, the BBC and the clubs in ensuring that the competition will maintain its place in the British sporting calendar. There has been a Challenge Cup Final every year since 1940, which was the only year without a Final since the five years between 1915 and 1920 because of the First World War.
“We will confirm the outstanding details, including the venue for the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final, as soon as possible – and we are grateful to those supporters who bought tickets for the original date in July for appreciating the unique circumstances which mean ongoing uncertainty.
“With increased optimism about the return of crowds to professional sport in the autumn we are still working through all venue options for all remaining rounds, to be able to react to any changes to the Government guidance over the coming weeks and months - and should the best option be to host the Final at Wembley Stadium we do have it provisionally booked for Saturday October 17.”
Simon Clare, the PR Director of Ladbrokes Coral, added: “We are delighted that the Coral Challenge Cup will resume shortly and, despite the unique and challenging circumstances we all continue to contend with, we can look forward with optimism to an amazing finals day in October. The RFL and the BBC deserve great credit for putting this revised schedule together, and we are looking forward to some great rugby over the coming months.”
Coral Challenge Cup 2020
Sixth Round: August 22-23
Quarter Finals: September 19-20
Semi Finals: October 3
Final: October 17
Sixth Round draw:
Leeds Rhinos v Hull KR, Newcastle Thunder v Toronto Wolfpack, Salford Red Devils v St Helens, Sheffield Eagles v Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity v Featherstone Rovers, Widnes Vikings v Catalans Dragons, Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves, York City Knights v Castleford Tigers.