Challenge Cup 2024: The favourites and outsiders to lift silverware under the Wembley arch ranked

Ben Olawumi
Leigh Leopards (2023), Wigan Warriors (2022), St Helens (2021) & Leeds Rhinos (2020) lift the Challenge Cup

Leigh Leopards (2023, top left), Wigan Warriors (2022, top right), St Helens (2021, bottom left) & Leeds Rhinos (2020, bottom right) lift the Challenge Cup - Alamy

We’ve ranked the 13 most favoured clubs by order of how much they’re fancied to triumph under the Wembley arch in June’s Challenge Cup final.

Whoever actually does so will become the winners of the 123rd edition of the prestigious competition, with 27 different clubs lifting the trophy so far including two that are now defunct – Bradford FC & Broughton Rangers.

Wigan Warriors are the club with the most Challenge Cup success to their name, winning it 20 times with the most recent coming in 2022 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Near neighbours Leigh Leopards meanwhile are the current holders.

For the first time in over 50 years, Leigh triumphed at Wembley last August, beating Hull KR courtesy of Lachlan Lam’s drop goal in golden point extra time, the first time ever a Challenge Cup final has required more than 80 minutes of match action.

The draw for Rounds One and Two of the 2024 instalment has already been made, with first round ties to take place this weekend coming.

Please note that the below are based on the odds offered by Betfred, the competition’s principal sponsor, accurate as of January 8, 2024.

Challenge Cup 2024: The favourites and outsiders to lift silverware under the Wembley arch ranked

13. London Broncos

London Broncos Ramon Silva and Bill Leyland Alamy
London Broncos v Toulouse Olympique in 2023 – Alamy

As you’d expect, all 12 Super League clubs make this list, including newly-promoted London at 66/1.

The Broncos have never won the Challenge Cup with the outfit from the capital appearing in one final, thumped by Leeds Rhinos back in 1999.

They’re far from bottom of the list when it comes to overall odds this term, but they’re the rank outsiders for cup success in 2024 when it comes to Super League teams, over 2.5 times more unfavoured than any of the other 11.

= Wakefield Trinity

The only non-Super League team on this list new newly-promoted Wakefield, given exactly the same odds as London to pull off an upset and reign supreme in the Challenge Cup in 2024.

Trinity have actually won the competition five times already, including three times between 1960 and 1963, though that 1963 success is their most recent. The Belle Vue outfit have also been runners-up three times.

For context, among the rest of the Championship clubs’ prices are Featherstone Rovers & Toulouse Olympique at 100/1 and Swinton Lions at 1000/1.

11. Castleford Tigers

Castleford are another club who have enjoyed Challenge Cup glory in years gone by, with four triumphs to their name, but aren’t exactly favoured to make that five this year priced at 25/1.

The Tigers have a new head coach in Craig Lingard, a man who last year guided Batley Bulldogs to Round Six, beaten away from home by eventual finalists Hull KR.

Lingard though will do well to get Cas a sight of the Wembley arch, last there in 2021 when they were beaten by St Helens.

10. Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils – Alamy

Salford aren’t much better thought of by the bookmakers in terms of their chances of Challenge Cup success in 2024, valued at the 20/1 mark.

Paul Rowley’s side were beaten at the quarter-final stage by Hull KR in 2023, with star man Ryan Brierley admitting they’d let a ‘dream of playing at Wembley’ slip through their hands.

The Red Devils last reached the ‘Home of Football’ in 2020, beaten by Leeds behind closed doorshaving not played at Wembley prior since 1969. They’ve won the Challenge Cup only once, that coming in 1938.

9. Huddersfield Giants

Six-time winners Huddersfield are another club that have come mightily close to lifting the Challenge Cup in recent times, but not close enough.

Beaten by Wigan in the 2022 final, the Giants were less than four minutes away from glory, but allowed Harry Smith the time and space to put an inch-perfect kick through for Marshall to collect and cross for the winner.

That was their first final appearance since 2009, not winning the competition since 1953. They are 12/1 to go all the way in the competition in 2024.

= Hull FC

Eight clubs have won the Challenge Cup back-to-back, and one of those is Hull having lifted the prestigious silverware under the arch in both 2016 & 2017.

Beating Warrington Wolves in the first of those, the Black and Whites picked up their fourth cup, and their first in over a decade having last lifted it in 2005.

With five to their name now, they’ve been beaten in an eye-watering 12 Challenge Cup finals, with only Wigan (13) defeated in more. If you want to back Hull to be victorious at Wembley in June, you’ll get odds of 12/1, the same as Huddersfield.

7. Hull KR

August’s crushing defeat to Leigh in the capital made it seven Challenge Cup final defeats for KR, with two of those by a single point.

The one final they were victorious in was one Robins supporters will never let their cross-city rivals live down though, beating FC 10-5 in 1980 with a man of the match performance from Brian Lockwood.

Willie Peters‘ side – at 10/1 – are slightly more favoured than their cross-city rivals to go one better this year and reign supreme at Wembley. We’re sure they wouldn’t mind a repeat of 1980, either.

6. Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards lift the Challenge Cup - 2023
Josh Charnley and his Leigh Leopards team-mates lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley in August 2023 – Alamy

The team that beat KR under the arch in 2023 created new history in doing so, their first silverware as ‘Leopards‘ in their first year under the now instantly recognisable tagline. Winning it in Leopard print was the icing on the cake for Leigh owner Derek Beaumont, delivering a first Challenge Cup to the town in 52 years having previously reigned supreme in 1921 and 1971.

They remain one of just three clubs to have competed in at least one Challenge Cup final and never lost one, with the other two the aforementioned Broughton Rangers and Sheffield Eagles, who pulled off perhaps the greatest shock of all against Wigan in 1998.

Adrian Lam‘s side will hope to challenge for silverware again in the upcoming season, and for them to go back-to-back, you’ll get odds of 9/1.

5. Warrington Wolves

Nine-time winners Warrington – who have been runners-up on 10 occasions – won the competition three times between 2009 and 2012, but have lifted the cup just once since with that coming in 2019 courtesy of a win against St Helens in the final.

Notably, before he headed Down Under to the NRL, the closest new Wolves boss Sam Burgess came to Challenge Cup glory with Bradford Bulls was a semi-final appearance in 2007. Saints were the winners that day, going on to beat Catalans Dragons in the final.

Warrington are priced at 8/1 to go all the way in the competition 2024.

4. Catalans Dragons

At 7/1, narrowly more favoured are Catalans, with the Dragons the only non-English team to ever win the Challenge Cup as yet having beaten Warrington at Wembley in 2018.

The one win and one defeat are – to date – Catalans‘ only appearances in the final of the competition, having triumphed in the Coupe de France Lord Derby on three occasions before entering the British game.

Steve McNamara‘s side haven’t gone beyond the quarter-finals in the Challenge Cup since that 2018 triumph.

3. Leeds Rhinos

Despite a drab 2023, which saw them crash out of the Challenge Cup at the first hurdle as well as underperforming in Super League, the bookmakers give Leeds hope for success under the arch in 2023.

Rohan Smith‘s men are priced at 6/1 for Wembley glory, the third favourites for the competition. If they do manage a triumph in the capital come June, it’ll be the club’s 15th Challenge Cup win.

The Rhinos won it in 2020 against Salford during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but haven’t won it in front of their fans since 2015 when they hammered Hull KR 50-0.

2. St Helens

St Helens’ Paul Wellens, Leon Pryce, Keiron Cunningham, Sean Long and coach Daniel Anderson celebrate with the Challenge Cup trophy in 2008. Picture by David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images.

With 13 Challenge Cup wins to their name, Saints could go joint-second and on level pegging with Leeds if they achieve a Wembley triumph this year.

They’re second favourites to do so at 9/2 having last won the competition in 2021 courtesy of a final triumph against Castleford under the arch.

Head coach Paul Wellens was twice crowned the Lance Todd Trophy winner for his man of the match showings in the 2007 & 2008 finals respectively.

1. Wigan Warriors

Perhaps unsurprisingly given how impressive Wigan’s recruitment has been having won the Super League Grand Final in 2023, they’re favourites for glory in the Challenge Cup this year.

2022 saw Matt Peet land the cup as his first trophy at the helm of the Warriors, and they came mightily close to a second consecutive final appearance in the season just gone, pipped to the post at the semi-final stage in golden point extra time by Hull KR.

A 21st Challenge Cup title for the Cherry and Whites would come as little surprise to the bookmakers, who price them at 4/1 favourites for the competition.

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