HMS Victory to host Challenge Cup draw

Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory will stage the Carnegie Challenge Cup second round draw this Tuesday (26 January) as Rugby League’s most historic and prestigious knockout competition moves a step closer to August’s spectacular Wembley final.

Weather permitting the draw will take place on the Poop Deck which is located at the stern of the Portsmouth based vessel and was mainly used as a viewpoint and signalling platform.  It is also where the ropes controlling the yards and sails of the main and mizzen masts were operated.

The draw will be conducted by Captain Steve Murdoch, President of Royal Navy Rugby League and Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, the Navy’s new entry training establishment.  He will be joined by Lieutenant Matt Gee, Treasurer for Royal Navy Rugby League. The Carnegie Challenge Cup trophy will also be present.

As with the preliminary and first rounds, the draw for the second round will be divided into two.  Nine ties will be drawn in Pool A and four in Pool B with games set to be played on the weekend of 13 and 14 February.

So far only the British Army from the Combined Services, courtesy of a 24-16 victory over Featherstone Lions on Saturday, have secured their second round berth.  The Royal Navy play their first round tie on Sunday afternoon (24 January) whilst the RAF play next weekend.

Teams from The Co-operative Championships join the Carnegie Challenge Cup in the third round and sides from the Engage Super League, including holders Warrington Wolves, will feature from the fourth round onwards.

This is the second consecutive year that one of the Combined Services has hosted a Carnegie Challenge Cup draw.

Last year RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire staged the fifth round draw.

Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final which is at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 28 are now available with prices starting from just £21.  Until 26 March the RFL is offering all those purchasing final tickets a free upgrade on all price bands expect £76 tickets.  For more information, please call 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

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