Challenge Cup: Third round TV ties confirmed plus draw for fourth and fifth rounds

James Gordon
Challenge Cup Wembley SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

The details for the 16 third round ties in this season’s Challenge Cup have been confirmed, with two selected for live coverage.

BBC Sport will show Thatto Heath Crusaders against North Wales Crusaders on Sunday March 12, as the St Helens community club look to repeat their success in 2019.

They defeated North Wales 16-14 in the fourth round, which was the longest cup run enjoyed by a community club in recent years.

Thatto Heath had already defeated Stanningley, Leigh Miners Rangers and Rochdale Mayfield to reach that stage, before bowing out against Dewsbury Rams.

The tie will be shown on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button, with kick-off at 12.30pm.

The mouth-watering clash between Championship heavyweights Featherstone and Halifax will also be streamed live by The Sportsman.

The game at Post Office Road takes place on Sunday March 12, kick-off 3pm.

Challenge Cup third round schedule all confirmed

The dates and times of all the other games in the third round have also been confirmed, with seven ties being played on Saturday March 11.

That includes Widnes Vikings’ clash with Wests Warriors, which has been switched to the DCBL Stadium in Widnes at the request of the Southern Conference League side.

There will be at least two community clubs in the fourth round, as Westgate Common take on Hunslet ARLFC and Leigh Miners Rangers welcome Rochdale Mayfield.

The draws for the fourth and fifth Rounds will be held the following Wednesday, March 15, at Millom ARLFC, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary and thought to be the world’s oldest amateur Rugby League club.

The 12 Super League clubs do not enter the competition until the sixth round, which is scheduled to be played on the weekend of May 20/21.

The fourth round takes place April 1/2, with the fifth round three weeks later on April 22/23.

How the Challenge Cup feeds in to the 1895 Cup

The four non-Super League teams that reach the fifth round will be the semi-finalists for this year’s 1895 Cup.

The draw details will be confirmed for that at a later date, but it will be a straight final four with the two winners going in to the final to be played at Wembley on August 12.

There will be three finals at Wembley this year, with the Women’s Challenge Cup final also taking place.

Last season’s 1895 Cup required a play-off round before the semi-finals, due to Toulouse being in Super League and not participating in the Challenge Cup.

Sheffield beat Whitehaven in the play-off round, before losing to Leigh in the semi-finals. In the final, Leigh beat Featherstone, who had seen off Barrow in the semi-finals.

In 2021, as there were no community clubs able to participate in the Challenge Cup due to COVID, the early rounds of the Challenge Cup also doubled up as the early rounds of the 1895 Cup.

Challenge Cup third round schedule

Saturday March 11

Westgate Common v Hunslet ARLFC (130pm) 

Leigh Miners Rangers v Rochdale Mayfield (2pm)

Orrell St James v Midlands Hurricanes (2pm)

Siddal v Sheffield Eagles (230pm) 

Stanningley v Newcastle Thunder (230pm) 

London Broncos v Whitehaven (3pm)

Wests Warriors v Widnes Vikings (at DCBL Stadium, Widnes – 3pm)

Sunday March 12

Thatto Heath Crusaders v North Wales Crusaders (1230pm – live on BBC Sport)

Batley Bulldogs v Wath Brow Hornets (2pm)

Dewsbury Rams v Rochdale Hornets (2pm)

Barrow Raiders v Swinton Lions (3pm)  

Bradford Bulls v York Acorn (3pm) 

Doncaster v Workington Town (3pm)

Featherstone Rovers v Halifax Panthers (3pm – live on

Hunslet v Keighley Cougars (3pm) 

York Knights v West Bowling (3pm)