Eight clubs from Betfred League One kick off Rugby League’s new knockout competition, the 1895 Cup, this weekend – battling for the right to join 12 Championship clubs in Sunday night’s second round draw, when the 16 teams involved will be only three wins from involvement in Coral Challenge Cup Final day at Wembley Stadium.
The 1895 Cup was created last winter to give non-Super League clubs a second, and more realistic, opportunity to reach Wembley – and to add to the celebration of Rugby League in the capital this August.
The first 1895 Cup Final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 (530pm kick-off), with the semi finals scheduled for Sunday July 28.
Fourteen of the 20 clubs who have entered the inaugural 1895 Cup have won the Challenge Cup since it was founded in 1896, and 13 of them have played at Wembley – although none have appeared there since Sheffield Eagles famously shocked Wigan in 1998.
The only two former Wembley winners in this weekend’s first round ties, Hunslet and Workington Town, will meet at the South Leeds Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3pm) in a tie being streamed live by the RFL’s Our League membership app, and also by the Twitch streaming platform.
The second round draw will also be streamed live through Our League and the RFL’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/rugbyfootballleague/, from 6pm on Sunday evening – when the draw for the second round of the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup will also be held.
Second Round ties in the 1895 Cup are to be played between May 31 and June 5, depending on clubs’ involvement in the quarter finals of the Coral Challenge Cup on the weekend of May 31 – June 2.
1895 Cup, First Round
Saturday May 4 – Hunslet v Workington Town (3pm, live on Our League and Twitch), Newcastle Thunder v Keighley Cougars (3pm).
Sunday May 5 – Doncaster v West Wales Raiders, Oldham v Whitehaven (both 3pm)
1895 Cup, Second Round draw numbers (6pm, Sunday):
1 Barrow Raiders
2 Batley Bulldogs
3 Bradford Bulls
4 Dewsbury Rams
5 Featherstone Rovers
7 Leigh Centurions
8 Rochdale Hornets
9 Sheffield Eagles
10 Swinton Lions
11 Widnes Vikings
12 York City Knights
13 Hunslet or Workington Town
14 Newcastle Thunder or Keighley Cougars
15 Doncaster or West Wales Raiders
16 Oldham or Whitehaven