The prestigious Betfred Challenge Cup returns tomorrow, with some exciting Round One ties set to take place across the weekend as the road to Wembley officially gets underway.
First up, BBC Sport will break new ground when it provides live coverage of Edinburgh Eagles’ meeting with NCL Division Two side Saddleworth Rangers – the first Challenge Cup fixture in Scotland to be televised by the BBC.
The Eagles, who have qualified for the tournament through their Scotland Rugby League Cup win in 2022, have been the dominant club in Scotland since they were founded in 1998 and will be aiming to cause an upset tomorrow.
Saddleworth Rangers, meanwhile, are one of the strongest community clubs in Rugby League’s traditional heartlands, based just on the Red Rose side of the Lancashire-Yorkshire border in the hills and moors above Oldham.
The club has produced a host of professional players and amateur internationals with Jack Sinfield, the teenage son of Kevin, and are relishing the prospect of a pre-season trip to the Scottish capital.
Elsewhere, The Sportsman will also provide live coverage for one of this weekend’s Challenge Cup fixtures after selecting to broadcast the fierce local derby between rivals Wigan St. Patricks and Ince Rose Bridge.
St Pats will be looking to go further in this year’s competition after falling to a 36-22 Round One defeat away at Rochdale Mayfield in 2022 – their last appearance in front of The Sportsman’s audience.
Away from the cameras, the Royal Navy kickstart their Challenge Cup campaign when they host Barrow Island at Burnaby Road. Last year, the Navy beat Orrell St James, the British Army and York Acorn to reach the fourth round of the tournament, where they were eventually knocked out by Betfred Championship outfit Batley Bulldogs.
Finally, Dublin City Exiles of the Rugby League Ireland Championship will make history when they travel to Hammersmith Hills Hoists tomorrow afternoon for their first ever Challenge Cup appearance. The fixture will also see the Hoists, who were founded in 2008, make their first appearance in the tournament since 2020.
Betfred Challenge Cup Round One Fixtures
Saturday 11th February
- West Bowling vs Waterhead Warriors – 11:00
- Royal Navy vs Barrow Island – 13:00
- Edinburgh Eagles vs Saddleworth Rangers – 13:15
- Brentwood Eels vs Bedford Tigers - 13:30
- British Army vs Ashton Bears - 13:30
- Fryston Warriors vs Thornhill Trojans - 13:30
- Skirlaugh vs Wests Warriors - 13:30
- Westgate Common vs Crosfields - 13:30
- Distington vs Orrell St. James – 14:00
- Doncaster Toll Bar vs Royal Air Force – 14:00
- Featherstone Lions ARLFC vs Great Britain Police – 14:00
- Hull Dockers vs Rhondda Outlaws – 14:00
- Stanningley SARLC vs Milford Marlins – 14:00
- London Chargers vs North Herts Crusaders – 14:30
- Wigan St. Patricks vs Ince Rose Bridge – 15:00
- Hammersmith Hills Hoists vs Dublin City Exiles – 17:00
Sunday 12th February
- Heworth ARLFC vs Oulton Raiders – 12:00
- Jarrow Vikings vs Myton Warriors – 13:30