Details have been confirmed for the Semi Finals of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup on May 22, and the triple header combining the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final and the Betfred Challenge Cup Semi Finals on June 5.
The Semi Finals of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup will be played at the LNER Stadium in York, with both games to be streamed by BBC Sport on Red Button and iplayer – and highlights to be shown on Sky Sports the following Monday. No tickets will be sold for these fixtures at the request of the stadium authorities, although a limited number of passes will be made available to the four competing teams.
The first Semi Final will see York City Knights play Castleford Tigers at 12.30pm followed at 3pm by St Helens against Cup holders Leeds Rhinos.
The Final of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup will be played at the Leigh Sports Village on Saturday June 5, kicking off at 11.15am, with live coverage on BBC2 – a first for Women’s Rugby League.
That is the first part of a triple header, which continues with the Semi Finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup, with all three games shown live on the BBC.
The Hull FC versus St Helens Semi Final will be shown on BBC One, kicking off at 2.30pm with coverage starting at 2.00pm.
The Castleford versus Warrington Semi Final will be shown on BBC Two, kicking off at 5.00pm with coverage starting at 4.30pm.
Covid restrictions mean that capacity at the Leigh Sports Village will be severely limited by the Covid 19 restrictions.
Each of the four Betfred Challenge Cup Semi Finalists will be given an initial allocation of approximately 600 tickets – the clubs will provide further details of the ballot required to allocate these tickets in the coming days.
Details for the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Finalists will be confirmed in the week starting May 24.
The RFL are working with Government and other relevant authorities on the possibility of increasing the capacity, based around staggered entry of supporters of the six teams to the stadium.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “After the whole Betfred Challenge Cup competition was played behind closed doors in 2020, this does represent a step in the right direction – with every reason to be hopeful of a much bigger crowd at Wembley on July 17 for the Final.
“For Women’s Rugby League, live coverage on BBC Two of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final represents another significant milestone – and we are also delighted to be able to confirm BBC coverage of the Semi Final double header at the LNER Stadium in York.”
“We know the restrictions on capacity at Leigh Sports Village are going to mean frustration and disappointment for some who would want to support their teams in person.
“We share that frustration, but this event was scheduled over six months ago and it became clear recently, that while it is great that fans would be allowed inside the stadium, it was going to be an event with unique challenges, involving six teams playing at the same stadium in the period between the partial reopening of stadiums to fans in Step 3 of the Government Roadmap out of Lockdown, and the further easing in Step 4 later in June. We are grateful to Leigh Sports Village and the four Semi-Finalists for the way that they have worked with us to get to this stage and to the BBC for their live coverage of all 3 games meaning that those fans who are unable to attend in person at the stadium can still watch the game live on TV.”
Tickets are on sale now for the Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on Sat 17 July (KO 3pm). Be there as fans return for our annual showpiece with tickets from only £20 Adults and £5 U16s. Limited tickets are remaining with Categories 1-4 already sold out, so book now at eticketing.co.uk/rugbyleague to ensure that you don’t miss out on all the action.
TRIPLE HEADER FAQs
When & where is this happening?
Saturday 5 June at Leigh Sports Village. The Women’s Final will kick off at 11:15am, Hull FC v St Helens will kick off at 2:30pm and Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves will kick off at 5:00pm.
Will fans be allowed inside the stadium?
Yes. Although as we are still at step 3 of the Government’s roadmap the number of fans will be limited to approximately 600 per Club and will therefore be only available to Season Ticket Holders/Members of each Club who will need to enter a ballot with all 4 Clubs having more Members than they will have tickets for their Semi Final.
How do I enter the ballot?
Firstly, you must be a Season Ticket Holder/Member at one of the four Clubs in the Semi Finals. If you are then your Club will email you this Friday with further details on how to apply. On Friday all Members will receive full details of how to apply, a step by step guide to registering, a list of FAQs and a spectator guide and code of conduct.
The emails on Friday will provide everyone will all the information that they need including how you can arrange to sit with others if you are all successful in the ballot (up to groups of 6), accessible seating, Covid-19 measures that will be in place on the day, track & trace, etc.
What happens if I am not a Member or if I am unsuccessful in the ballot?
While it is fantastic that fans will be back inside the stadium for this event we do appreciate that there will be a significant number who will be disappointed at not being able to attend. All three games from the Triple Header will be broadcast live on the BBC so those unable to attend in person will still be able to watch the games on television, free to all.
Why a Triple Header instead of two events where more fans could get inside the stadium?
Running the event as a Triple Header was planned over six months ago and at that time it was impossible to predict what situation the country would be in. A Triple Header at one stadium guaranteed BBC coverage of all three games with the opportunity to showcase Rugby League and the Betfred Challenge Cup to millions of people around the world.
Why not a stadium with a larger capacity?
We are very grateful to Leigh Sports Village for hosting this event. Several stadiums were considered based on being a neutral venue for the 4 Semi Finalists, being available on June 5, being able to host Rugby League, being geographically located somewhere accessible for the fans who would want to attend. Measured against this criteria Leigh Sports Village was the best stadium to host the event.