Challenge Cup final: Team news, kick-off times, TV coverage & predictions

Josh McAllister
Challenge Cup final, 2023

Everything you need to know ahead of this weekend's Challenge Cup final.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 Challenge Cup final, including team news, kick-off times and television coverage. 

The Men’s Challenge Cup is the middle game as part of a triple-header day in the capital, with the Women’s Challenge Cup between St Helens and Leeds kicking off the action at 11:50am, and the 1895 Cup final at 5:30pm.

Halifax Panthers face Batley Bulldogs in the final match of the day.

Lizzie Jones MBE will sing Abide with Me and the National Anthem before the two Challenge Cup finals.

Hull KR v Leigh Leopards | 3:00pm | BBC One

Willie Peters has made 14 changes to the squad that lost to Wigan Warriors last Friday in Super League.

Ryan Hall is poised to return after being named in the 21-man squad, having not played since suffering a calf injury against former club Leeds Rhinos earlier in July.

He was a late withdrawal from the semi-final clash with Wigan after aggravating the injury during the warm-up. The 35-year-old England international won the Lance Todd Trophy in 2014.

Mikey Lewis is set to start at full-back in a repeat of the golden point semi-final victory, while Brad Schneider won July’s Super League player of the month award.

Adrian Lam has only managed to name a 20-man squad for the Challenge Cup final, with Josh Charnley returning to the picture.

The prolific try-scorer missed last week’s Super League win over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium.

Zak Hardaker also returns to the squad having missed the clash against his former club, while Nathan Wilde was also absent.

Having served his six-match suspension for a Grade F dangerous contact charge against York in the Challenge Cup earlier in June, back-rower Kai O’Donnell made his return in last week’s 13-6 victory and has been named in Lam’s 20-man squad.

New signing Oliver Gildart is not eligible to play.

Hull KR: Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Parcell, King, Linnett, Kennedy, Batchelor, Storton, Keinhorst, Lewis, Milnes, Hadley, Senior, Johnson, Luckley, Aydin, Schneider.

Leigh: Hardaker, Briscoe, Chamberlain, Charnley, Mellor, Lam, Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, Wardle, Hughes, Asiata, Nakubuwai, Reynolds, Holmes, O’Brien, Davis, O’Donnell, Wilde, Seaumanufagai.


Drew Darbyshire: What a final this is going to be. Two teams who we aren’t too familiar with seeing at Wembley, but fully deserve to be there.

Willie Peters has done a tremendous job since taking over the reins at Hull KR whilst Leigh are the story of the season. It has all the ingredients to be a cracker.

I think the Leopards will just have the edge. That left edge has been clinical for them all season. I’ll go Leigh by 8.

Josh McAllister: It’s somewhat refreshing to see two new teams head to Wembley Stadium for this year’s Challenge Cup final in what is looking likely to be a mouth-watering clash.

There’s talent and stories all over the pitch adding to the motivation for both sides. I’m looking forward to seeing the battle of the playmakers, Lachlan Lam, Gareth O’Brien, Ben Reynolds versus Mikey Lewis, Brad Schneider and Rowan Milnes.

I’m tipping the Leopards to do the business by 10.

Exclusive: Zak Hardaker using past adversity as ‘fuel’ as Challenge Cup finalist discusses Leigh’s Wembley dream