22nd September 2020, 10:52 | ChallengeCup
The Rugby Football League today confirms that the Final of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup will be played on Saturday October 17 at Wembley, its spiritual home.
The game’s oldest knockout competition has suffered unprecedented disruption since it kicked off in January, with the national lockdown forcing a restructure at the Sixth Round stage, and the closing stages put back from spring and summer to September and October.
But Salford Red Devils, Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and the holders, Warrington Wolves, emerged from the Quarter Finals over the weekend – and now all four clubs are one win from Wembley.
The Semi Final draw was held on Saturday evening and those ties – Leeds versus Wigan, and Salford versus Warrington – will be played as a double header behind closed doors at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens on Saturday October 3, both to be shown live on the BBC (details below).
That will be followed two weeks later, on Saturday October 17, by the Final at Wembley Stadium connected by EE – which will be the 78th Challenge Cup Final played at Wembley, as the sport of Rugby League continues to celebrate its 125th anniversary.
The Final will be broadcast live on BBC One, and both Semi Finals will also be shown live on the BBC.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that the Coral Challenge Cup Final in our 125th anniversary year will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday October 17.
“2020 has been a tough year for all for obvious reasons, but it is also a special one for the sport of Rugby League – and we have therefore remained determined to do everything possible to ensure a day of celebration as well as reflection at Wembley.
“The fact this will be the 78th Challenge Cup Final at Wembley since the original, visionary decision to take the Final south in 1929 underlines the strength of the relationship between the National Stadium and the sport of Rugby League.
“The players of the four clubs who have reached the Semi Finals now know what is at stake. It has remained the fervent wish of the RFL that supporters of the two teams who reach the Final would be able to join them there, as well as the thousands who bought tickets for Wembley before lockdown.
“However we recognise that public health must remain the priority, and these decisions may be taken out of our hands. We have already made the decision to stage the Semi Finals behind closed doors – and the draw has produced two intriguing ties for BBC coverage on October 3.”
Coral Challenge Cup 2020
Semi Finals – Saturday October 3 – Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens
Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors (230pm, live on BBC One – coverage starts 2pm)
Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves (5pm, live on BBCTwo)
Final – Saturday October 17, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, 3pm
(live on BBC One).