Two undisputed greats of the modern game, Ellery Hanley and Jonathan Davies, will conduct the draw for the quarter finals of the Coral Challenge Cup at Warrington on Sunday evening, after the televised sixth-round tie between their former clubs, Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves.
Hanley and Davies produced some of Great Britain’s most memorable moments at Wembley in the 1990s – and their involvement in the draw continues the countdown to Challenge Cup Final day in the capital on August 24, when the return of the Rugby League Lions after a 13-year absence will be celebrated.*
Hanley was Great Britain’s captain at Wembley in 1990 and led them to a famous 19-12 victory over Mal Meninga’s Kangaroos, perhaps the most memorable of his 37 Test appearances.
Four years later, with the First Test of the Ashes series again staged at Wembley, Davies scored the brilliant individual try that secured an 8-4 victory – despite the first-half dismissal of Shaun Edwards for a high tackle.
Great Britain’s iconic red and blue V will return to the international stage this autumn with a four-match trip to the southern hemisphere including a first Test against Tonga, two Tests against New Zealand, and a first visit to Papua New Guinea since 1996.
That will be one of the main themes of Coral Challenge Cup Final day at Wembley in August, with all members of the Rugby League Lions Association invited to join anyone who has played in a previous Challenge Cup Final, in a special Rugby League Reunion.
The Warrington-Wigan tie at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (215pm kick-off) is one of two that will be shown live on BBC1 this weekend, following the return of the classic West Yorkshire derby between Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos at Odsal on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 230pm.
There are two more all-Super League ties live on Sky Sports – the meeting of the 2016 and 2017 Wembley winners Hull FC with Castleford Tigers at the KCOM Stadium on Friday night (735pm kick-off), followed by the current Super League pacesetters St Helens crossing the Pennines to face Huddersfield Giants at the John Smiths Stadium on Sunday evening (605pm).
The weekend’s four other ties include Catalans Dragons launching their defence of the Cup at home to Doncaster, the only League One team remaining in the competition, in Perpignan on Saturday afternoon.
Wakefield Trinity face Widnes Vikings at Belle Vue on Friday night in a repeat of the 1979 Wembley final, Salford Red Devils host Hull Kingston Rovers on Saturday afternoon (2pm), and at least one Championship team is guaranteed to reach the last eight with Dewsbury Rams facing Halifax also on Friday night.
Tickets for the Coral Challenge Cup Final, and 1895 Cup Final, at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 are available from £20 – details here www.rugby-league.com/tickets/challenge_cup_final
Coral Challenge Cup, Sixth Round Friday:
Hull FC v Castleford Tigers (735pm, live on Sky Sports);
Dewsbury Rams v Halifax (8pm);
Wakefield Trinity v Widnes Vikings (745pm).
Saturday: Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos (230pm, live on BBC1);
Salford Red Devils v Hull Kingston Rovers (2pm);
Catalans Dragons v Doncaster (3pm).
Sunday: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors (215pm, live on BBC1);
Huddersfield Giants v St Helens (605pm, live on Sky Sports).
Quarter Final draw to be shown live on BBC after the Warrington-Wigan tie. *Great Britain last played in 2007, but their last tour as the Lions was in 2006