Fixture headache for Super League clubs

The new format of the Challenge Cup is causing an early fixture headache for Super League clubs.

Last season’s bottom four current top flight teams – Hull KR, Hull FC, Salford and Wakefield – enter the 2015 Challenge Cup at the fifth round stage, with the other eight joining the following round.

The fifth round games are scheduled to be played on April 18-19, but a full round of Super League fixtures has also been organised for the same dates.

Initially, the fifth round had been scheduled for April 11-12, but was then put back a week.

The change now means that the four teams involved in the Challenge Cup that weekend play each other in Super League on the affected weekend – Hull KR v Salford and Wakefield v Hull.

Two of the games that would have been affected the previous week in Round 10 have been selected for Sky Sports coverage – Hull v Widnes on April 10, and Castleford v Hull KR on April 11.

It’s unclear yet as to whether Challenge Cup fifth round games will be able to be moved.

The sixth round of the Challenge Cup takes place four weeks after the fifth round.

Clubs trying to re-arrange their Super League fixtures have already hit opposition. It is believed Salford and Hull KR wanted to play their game on the weekend of the World Club Series in February, but were denied permission to do so.

The draw for the first round of the Challenge Cup takes place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.

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