Challenge Cup set to be redrawn for Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers as Featherstone Rovers pull out

The Challenge Cup is set to be redrawn ahead of the competition's restart next month as Featherstone Rovers confirmed they have pulled out.
The Challenge Cup will be redrawn in 2020. Picture: Chris Mangnall/ Challenge Cup will be redrawn in 2020. Picture: Chris Mangnall/
The Challenge Cup will be redrawn in 2020. Picture: Chris Mangnall/

Rovers were set to meet Wakefield Trinity in a mouth-watering sixth round clash while Castleford Tigers had been handed a tie against York City Knights.

But with the Championship and League 1 campaigns cancelled, only Super League clubs will be able to continue in this year's competition.

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It leaves 10 teams in the tournament, with Huddersfield Giants and Toronto Wolfpack the only Super League clubs who will not compete.

The Giants lost their fifth-round tie against Toronto, who have subsequently withdrawn from Super League and the Challenge Cup due to unprecedented financial challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

There will still be two six-round ties played at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield while the other six clubs will receive a bye to the quarter finals.

Details on the sixth round and quarter finals is set to be announced later today.

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The RFL insist that redrawing is the fairest way to move forward.

A statement read: "The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup has been reshaped because of the unique set of circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – with the 10 Super League clubs remaining in the competition to be included in a redraw for the Sixth Round and the Quarter Finals later this week.

"Following the withdrawal from the competition of Toronto Wolfpack and the five Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs who had earned places in the last 16, the RFL Board was faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances. Having considered all the options, and having received the support of the BBC and Coral, the RFL Board decided that a redraw of the Sixth Round is the best and fairest way of proceeding.

"The road to the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final, which has been rescheduled for Saturday October 17, will begin with two Sixth Round ties to be played at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on Saturday August 22 – with both shown live on the BBC.

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"The remaining six Super League clubs in the competition will receive a bye to the Quarter Finals on the weekend of September 18-20, to be televised by the BBC and Sky Sports."

Featherstone have withdrawn from the competition due to player welfare concerns, with their opponents Wakefield already back in full training and set to resume their season next month.

"We are extremely disappointed that Featherstone Rovers will no longer be participating in this year’s Coral Challenge Cup," said Rovers CEO Davide Longo.

"We had limited options available to us and due to the Championship season being cancelled and we believe the Challenge Cup was compromised in 2020.

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“Our club has a proud history in the competition, we value and respect the traditions that the cup brings to the game and would like to apologise to Coral and at the same time thank them for their continued support of the cup.

“We would also like to apologise to our own commercial partners who were looking forward to a mouth-watering clash against our local rivals Wakefield Trinity as well as the Rovers supporters who again haven’t witnessed a competitive game against Wakefield Trinity for some time.

“Everyone at the club would like to extend our best wishes to Wakefield Trinity in the quarter-finals and to the rest of the clubs who remain in the Challenge Cup.”

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