Column: Let’s get Super League clubs back in the Yorkshire Cup

Drew Darbyshire

Super League clubs need to be involved in the Yorkshire Cup if it is to gain wide popularity.

The real Yorkshire Cup is not returning, but why are people going on as though it is? It isn’t newly reformed either.

The only thing that is the same about the new and old Yorkshire Cup is the name, nothing else.

The trophy that the teams will compete for isn’t the old Yorkshire Cup either.

Batley Bulldogs, Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, York City Knights, Hunslet and Hunslet Club Parkside are the teams that will compete in the Yorkshire Cup in 2019.

Without trying to disrespect the aforementioned teams, it isn’t the old Yorkshire Cup if the best teams aren’t involved as well.

And by the best teams, I mean the Super League teams like Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers, Hull KR, Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept of the Cup is good and I can see why the lower league clubs have decided to come up with a competition to attract fans to pre-season games.

But why haven’t Doncaster and Sheffield Eagles been invited into the Cup as well? Whether they wanted to compete in it or not is a different matter, but they weren’t even asked to play in the competition.

Sheffield’s general manager Liam Claffey summed it up perfectly on Twitter, saying: “Yorkshire Cup – yet no Sheffield Eagles or Doncaster or even Super League clubs for that matter! Deary me. Call it the Yorkshire Invitational.”

The new version of the Yorkshire Cup needs all professional and semi-professional teams to compete in it, so all fans can include themselves in the bragging rights and the competition would sell more tickets.

Let’s just be clear though, the Yorkshire Cup is not returning – it is a new version!

The new competition could be a good thing for the sport and it could generate popularity amongst supporters in the winter, but it needs the big boys involved for it to be anything like the old Yorkshire Cup.

Here is to hoping…