Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 1895 Cup final between Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers.
The two Championship sides will close the action-packed day at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 12, with the Women’s and Men’s Challenge Cup finals included in the triple-header.
The Rugby Football League confirmed that the clash will be shown live, exclusive and free on Our League web and app.
Batley v Halifax | 5:30pm | Our League
The fixture marks Batley’s first appearance at Wembley Stadium with head coach Craig Lingard in his final season in charge of the Bulldogs.
Likewise, Simon Grix will depart Halifax at the end of the year for a coaching opportunity in Super League.
The winner of the Ray French Award – player of the match – will be determined by votes of Our League members.
This year’s Challenge Cup finalists Leigh Leopards claimed the 1895 Cup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last season with a 30-16 win over rivals Featherstone.
Having made his second appearance for Leeds Rhinos against Leigh last week following the injury to Richie Myler, Luke Hooley has been included in Batley’s squad for Saturday’s showdown.
Meanwhile, Castleford’s Alex Sutcliffe has been named by Halifax following his loan move for the remainder of the season.
Influential playmaker Joe Keyes is also in contention to make his long-awaited return from injury. Ben Crooks and Ben Tibbs miss out.
Batley: Blake, Hirst, Hodgson, Hooley, Kear, Kibula, McGowan, Meadows, Reilly, Woods, Buchanan, White, Gledhill, Leak, Manning, Brown, Ward, Senior, Morton, Kaye, Flynn.
Halifax: Calcott, Fairbank, Fleming, Gee, Inman, Jouffret, Kavanagh, Keyes, Lannon, Larroyer, Maizen, McComb, Moore, Murray, O’Brien, Pickersgill, Saltonstall, Sutcliffe, Tangata, Walmsley, Woodburn-Hall.
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Drew Darbyshire: This could be the best 1895 Cup final we’ve seen yet in its short existence. Two teams with plenty of firepower, and it’s a tough one to call.
Halifax can beat any Championship team on their day, proven last week with their win over high flying Featherstone but there’s just something about this Batley side that makes me think they’ll lift the Cup. I’ll predict the Bulldogs by a Josh Woods drop goal.
Josh McAllister: I’ve been a fan of the 1895 Cup concept since it’s introduction in 2019 and have enjoyed seeing Championship sides get their big day out in the capital, either Wembley Stadium or the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Having previously done some work with Swinton Lions in the Championship, there’s just something that’s different and entertaining about the second division.
For this one, I’m backing Lingard’s Bulldogs to claim the win and close the eight-hour rugby league packed day.