Have your say: Should the Northern Rail Cup be brought back?

We want to know if you would bring back the Northern Rail Cup or not.

With all of the current talk, debate and arguments over the current Super 8s format, we want to know whether or not you would bring back the Northern Rail Cup to give some focus for the Championship and League 1 clubs.

The Northern Rail Cup was a competition for professional and semi-professional rugby league clubs outside of Super League that started in 2002, but the concept was ditched in 2013.

From 2006, there were seven groups. Groups one to six consisted of 22 teams in National Leagues One and Two and the two southern National League Three teams, Hemel Stags and St Albans Centurions. There were four teams in each regional division.

The top two teams from groups one to six and the best three third-placed teams qualified for the last sixteen knockout stage along with the winner from group seven.

Group seven comprised northern National League Three teams that choose to enter, and included the likes of Bramley Buffaloes, Warrington Wizards and Dewsbury Celtic.

There were four venues for the final over the years, which were Post Office Road (Featherstone), Spotland Stadium (Rochdale), Bloomfield Road (Blackpool) and Halifax (The Shay).

And crowds for the finals were strong over the years. The Northern Rail Cup final between Hull Kingston Rovers and Castleford Tigers at Bloomfield Road in 2005 drew a crowd of 9,400 and the final gained attendances of over 8,000 between 2007 and 2011.

Leigh Centurions have won the Northern Rail Cup the most, with four titles to their name and were crowned champions in the last ever final in 2013.

It is near impossible for part-time teams being able to reach the Challenge Cup final at Wembley these days.

But, what about the Northern Rail Cup being brought back to give the lower league clubs something to really focus on?

The prize could be playing at Wembley as a curtain-raiser to the Challenge Cup final. That way, it means fans and players of the lower league teams could have a day out at the national stadium and play in front of a bumper crowd.

Others are against the idea of bringing the Northern Rail Cup back though because they think there are too many games in a season as it is.

We want to know what you think…

Would you like to see the Northern Rail Cup return or not? Let us know in the comments below.

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