1895 Cup groups and fixtures revealed as tournament gears up for new format in 2024

Ben Olawumi
1895 Cup Alamy

21 Championship and League 1 clubs now know who they will have to overcome in the 1895 Cup group stages in order to try and get a crack at Wembley glory in 2024 as the competition takes on a new-look format.

Four different clubs, all of the Championship, have lifted the trophy since its inaugural year in 2019 – Sheffield Eagles, Featherstone Rovers, Leigh – then Centurions – and most recently Halifax Panthers. Fax beat Batley Bulldogs in the tournament’s final back in August under the arch in the capital.

Come 2024, 13 England-based teams from the second tier will join eight League 1 sides in seven groups of three teams. The top team in each group advance to the quarter-finals of the competition alongside the best-performing second-placed side, with the 1895 Cup from there onwards adopting a knockout format.

Cornwall were asked to – and did – withdraw from the cup for the ease of geographic grouping and logistics. The 21 clubs that are involved were seeded and regionalised, with League 1 clubs awarded home advantage in the group stage whenever they come up against a team from the Championship.

The group stage games will take place ahead of the league season starting in March, as exclusively revealed last month by Love Rugby League.

1895 Cup groups and fixtures revealed as tournament gears up for new format in 2024

Group 1

Barrow Raiders, Whitehaven, Workington Town

January 28: Workington Town v Barrow Raiders

February 4: Whitehaven v Barrow Raiders

February 18: Workington Town v Whitehaven

Group 2

Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Keighley Cougars

January 28: Keighley Cougars v Dewsbury Rams

February 4: Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls

February 18: Keighley Cougars v Bradford Bulls

Group 3

Newcastle Thunder, Wakefield Trinity, York

January 28: Newcastle Thunder v York

February 4: York v Wakefield Trinity

February 18: Newcastle Thunder v Wakefield Trinity

Group 4

Halifax Panthers, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets

January 28: Oldham v Halifax Panthers

February 4: Rochdale Hornets v Halifax Panthers

February 18: Oldham v Rochdale Hornets

Group 5

Batley Bulldogs, Featherstone Rovers, Hunslet

January 28: Hunslet v Featherstone Rovers

February 4: Batley Bulldogs v Featherstone Rovers

February 18: Hunslet v Batley Bulldogs

Group 6

North Wales Crusaders, Swinton Lions, Widnes Vikings

January 28: North Wales Crusaders v Swinton Lions

February 4: Swinton Lions v Widnes Vikings

February 18: North Wales Crusaders v Widnes Vikings

Group 7

Doncaster, Midlands Hurricanes, Sheffield Eagles

January 28: Midlands Hurricanes v Doncaster

February 4: Doncaster v Sheffield Eagles

February 18: Midlands Hurricanes v Sheffield Eagles

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