Former Super League duo helping Welsh club prepare for first-ever Challenge Cup appearance

Drew Darbyshire
South Wales Jets Ben Flower Lloyd White

Former Wales internationals Ben Flower (left) and Lloyd White (right) have joined the South Wales Jets' coaching staff - Alamy

Former Super League duo Ben Flower and Lloyd White are helping South Wales Jets in their preparations for their Challenge Cup debut.

Former Wigan Warriors prop Flower and ex-Widnes Vikings hooker White have joined the Jets’ coaching staff to help prepare the team for what will be the 100th men’s Challenge Cup match to feature a Welsh club.

The Jets will host West Yorkshire-based club Stanningley in South Wales for what will be their first-ever appearance in the prestigious Cup competition.

The Challenge Cup first round tie will be held at Ebbw Vale RFC – home of The Steelmen – over the weekend of January 13-14, with the club saying full match details will be announced ‘very soon’.

And to help them prepare for their Challenge Cup debut they’ve added former Super League pair Flower and White to their coaching ranks.

“As we look ahead to our first time in the Challenge Cup we wanted to make sure the lads are as well prepared as possible,” the Jets’ official account wrote on X.

“Jets RL want to say a huge thank you (to) Ben Flower and Lloyd White, who are Welsh internationals, for coming on board to prepare the squad.”

Former Crusaders prop Flower made 184 appearances across nine seasons with Wigan between 2012 and 2020, helping the Warriors win three Super League titles, three League Leaders’ Shields, a Challenge Cup and a World Club Challenge before finishing his career with Leigh in 2021.

Meanwhile, Flower’s former Crusaders team-mate White spent seven seasons with Widnes between 2012 and 2018, playing 147 games for the Cheshire club. The Cardiff-born hooker then spent three years with Toulouse Olympique at the back end of his career before retiring last year.

On the international stage, Flower won 15 caps for Wales, with White just one behind – both representing their country at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

2024 Challenge Cup round one and two draws made

Leigh Leopards winger Josh Charnley – a four-time Challenge Cup winner – conducted the first and second round draws for the Challenge Cup earlier this month.

Live on BBC Radio Manchester in Media City, Charnley drew 20 teams out of the hat for Round One, split between community clubs and outfits from the Armed Forces.

First round ties will take place over the weekend of January 13-14, with the winners of the 10 ties joined by 10 clubs from the National Conference League in Round Two.

The 10 ties in Round Two will then take place over the weekend of January 27-28.

Round One draw

Fryston Warriors v British Army

Lowca v Edinburgh Eagles

South Wales Jets v Stanningley

Royal Air Force v Royal Navy

Doncaster Toll Bar v Ashton Bears

Orrell St James v Haresfinch

Clock Face Miners v Heworth

Oulton Raiders v West Bowling

Hammersmith Hills Hoists v Medway Dragons

Wests Warriors v Newsome Panthers

Round Two draw

Orrell St James OR Haresfinch v York Acorn

Royal Air Force OR Royal Navy v Thatto Heath Crusaders

Leigh Miners Rangers v South Wales Jets OR Stanningley

Fryston Warriors OR British Army v Hunslet ARLFC

Doncaster Toll Bar OR Ashton Bears v West Hull

Clock Face Miners OR Heworth v Siddal

Wests Warriors OR Newsome Panthers v Rochdale Mayfield

Hammersmith Hills Hoists OR Medway Dragons v Oulton Raiders OR West Bowling

Lock Lane v Lowca OR Edinburgh Eagles

Hull Dockers v Wath Brow Hornets

BBC Sport will select one tie from each of the rounds, which will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer, as well as the BBC Sport website and app.  

The winners of those Round Two ties will then be joined in Round Three by 22 semi-professional clubs from the Championship and League 1, with those fixtures taking place over the weekend of February 10-11.

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