40 teams gear up for Challenge Cup draw

The first round draw for the Challenge Cup will take place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday, with 40 clubs involved.

The third tier of the Rugby League pyramid has the most participants in the first round draw, with 23 clubs representing the Kingstone Press National Conference League. Leicester Storm and Nottingham Outlaws will represent Conference League South.

Scotland and Wales both have participating teams, as Aberdeen Warriors prepare for their second appearance in the tournament alongside Valley Cougars, the Conference League South Grand Final winners, whilst University and College Rugby League teams Leeds Beckett University and Loughborough University represent the education sector.

All three Armed Forces teams are represented – the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy – whilst Great Britain Police look to build on their extra-time second round exit last year.

From the game’s fourth tier, Cumbria Men’s League champions Walney Central are entered whilst, at the other end of the country, Harry Jepson Trophy winners, South West London Chargers are looking forward to their participation for a second successive season.

The North West Men’s League champions Widnes West Bank are entered along with Hunslet Parkside, Queens, Scarborough Pirates and Sharlston Rovers who complete the list.

The 10 winners from the second round will be joined by the Kingstone Press League 1 sides in the third round.

A new sponsor for the competition, Ladbrokes, was announced earlier this week.

Key Dates

First Round – January 31/February 1

Second Round – February 14/15

Third Round – March 7/8 (League 1 clubs enter)

Fourth Round – March 21/22 (Championship clubs enter)

Fifth Round – April 21/22 (last season’s 9th-12th Super League teams enter)

Sixth Round – May 16/17 (last season’s top eight Super League teams enter)

Quarter-Finals – June 27/28

Semi-Finals – August 1/2

 

Final – August 29

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