Rugby League

1895 Cup

5 Jun 2024

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final Preview

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final Preview

The fifth instalment of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will take place at the legendary Wembley Stadium this Saturday when inaugural winners Sheffield Eagles take on fellow Betfred Championship side Wakefield Trinity – in the third and final game of Rugby League’s Wembley Finals Day.

The 2024 Final, which will follow the earlier Betfred Women’s and Men’s Challenge Cup Finals, provides a unique opportunity for each set of players and their club’s supporters to experience a Wembley final, and potentially, celebrate success under the stadium's famous arch.

Both sides earned their place in the final after finishing top of their respective group stages, before grinding out home wins in the quarters against Batley and Barrow respectively. 

The finalists then went on to pick up hard-fought semi-final victories away from home – with Sheffield securing their Wembley return with a 28-18 win over York Knights, and Wakefield booking their place following a 40-14 triumph over Bradford Bulls.

Sheffield will aim to become the first club to win the 1895 Cup twice, having won the competition’s first ever final in 2019. The Eagles beat Widnes Vikings 36-18 in what is the widest winning margin in this final to date and they will now be looking to maintain their 100% winning record at the country’s National Stadium.

The South Yorkshire club have a 100% record at Wembley having famously won the Challenge Cup in their only Final appearance against Wigan in 1998, when their current head coach Mark Aston won the Lance Todd Trophy.

Aston’s son, Cory, will now look forward to his opportunity to play at Wembley, and there are a number of narratives within the Sheffield outfit which makes Saturday’s 1895 Cup Final both an emotional and special occasion for the club.

Blake Broadbent, Joel Farrell, Ryan Millar and Anthony Thackeray are four players who remain from the winning team in 2019.

In what will be captain Thackeray’s final season, the 38-year-old Sheffield stalwart – who won the first Ray French Award last time out - will be hoping for a dream ending, while his team-mates Ben Jones Bishop and Jesse Sene-Lefao will aim to achieve their first ever Wembley win in their playing careers. 

It’ll also be birthday celebrations for Titus Gwaze, but can the Eagles come away with victory and give Gwaze potentially one of the best birthday presents ever?

Standing in their way will be current Championship high-flyers Wakefield Trinity. Trinity will become the eighth club to play in the 1895 Cup as they relish their first Wembley appearance since 1979.

The West Yorkshire club have visited old Wembley a total of six times in their history, including their most dominant and successful period in the early 1960s – claiming three Challenge Cup titles in four years.

Perhaps the club is also renowned for their appearance in the 1968 Watersplash Final, in which Leeds defeated Trinity 11-10 in the most dramatic of circumstances in atrocious weather conditions. Their last Wembley outing, however, came in 1979 - but Trinity were defeated 12-3 by former ‘Cup Kings’ Widnes Vikings.

Daryl Powell’s men head into Saturday’s Final with a perfect record of ten wins from ten in the Betfred Championship, in what will be their first trip to new Wembley - ending 45 years of waiting.

It’s an exciting time for the Trinity side, who are the team to beat in 2024, and have already outlined their ambitious visions for this season and beyond.

Wakefield have a side littered with experience, as well as a mix of both an older and younger playing group.

Where Wembley is concerned, they have vital experience in their half-back Luke Gale, who kicked Leeds Rhinos to victory in the 2020 Challenge Cup Final with a dramatic last-gasp drop goal.

Experienced heads Iain Thornley, Jermaine McGillvary and Josh Griffin also know what it’s like to play on the big stage in Challenge Cup Finals and will look to guide the way. It’s also going to be back-to-back 1895 Cup Finals for the Championship’s current top try-scorer Lachlan Walmsley, who is renowned for his expert finishing and was part of the winning Halifax Panthers side in 2023.

Meanwhile, there will be a number of players eagerly anticipating their first ever Wembley appearance, including loyal Max Jowitt who is the current top points scorer of the Championship and has kicked the most goals in this year's 1895 Cup competition.

Sheffield and Wakefield have already met once in the Championship this season. Trinity made the short trip to the Olympic Legacy Park in Round 7 and emerged as comfortable 36-10 victors. But the contest was closer the perhaps the scoreline suggested - before a late burst of Trinity tries in the first half put the game out of the Eagles' reach.

As they prepare to face each other once again in what is 80 minutes of cup rugby league...anything could happen!

Saturday is bound to be a memorable day for both sets of players involved, but which team will triumph at Wembley come Saturday evening?


The 2024 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will take place on Saturday 8 June, K.O. 5.45pm at Wembley Stadium. The match will be streamed LIVE and FREE on SuperLeague+. Details can be found here.


The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final (KO 5.45pm) is part of a Finals Day triple-header at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 June, alongside the finals of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup (KO 11.45am) and Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final (KO 3.07pm). Plus, there will be the traditional Year 7 Boys’ Champion Schools Final at 10am. Tickets are available online now from only £20 Adults and £10 Under 16s, with family packages also available.