1895 Cup entrants and details announced

There will be 20 clubs competing in the inaugural 1895 Cup – London Skolars, Coventry and North Wales have opted not to enter.

The brand-new competition provides another opportunity for Championship and League 1 clubs to earn a trip to Wembley Stadium in 2019.

London Skolars, Coventry Bears and North Wales Crusaders have opted not to enter for logistical reasons, due to the later rounds of the competition being played midweek.

Eight League 1 clubs will play a straight knockout in the first round on May 5-6, before the 12 English clubs from the Championship join the four first round winners in the last 16.

The winners of those eight fixtures, to be played in the first week of June, will earn places in the 1895 Cup quarter-finals later in the month. The semi-finals will be played the day after the Challenge Cup semi-finals, on July 28.

That will leave the finalists with almost a month to prepare for the 1895 Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 24.

First round (May 4-5; draw in April on date tbc) – teams enter: Doncaster, Hunslet, Keighley Cougars, Newcastle Thunder, Oldham, West Wales Raiders, Whitehaven, Workington Town. 

Second round (June 2-5; draw in early May date tbc) – teams enter: Barrow Raiders, Batley Bulldogs, Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh Centurions, Rochdale Hornets, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions, Widnes Vikings, York City Knights, plus four First Round winners.

Quarter-finals: Week starting June 24

Semi-finals: Sunday, July 28

Final: Wembley Stadium, Saturday, August 24