Navy progress in Challenge Cup


The Royal Navy will face professional opposition for only the second time in their history later this month after reaching the third round of the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup with a stirring victory in Portsmouth.

The Navy took a small but significant step along the road that eventually leads to Wembley with a 32-14 victory over Leigh Miners Rangers to earn their place in the third round draw, which will take place at The Recreation Ground, Whitehaven tomorrow evening (Tuesday March 13).

Having hosted the second round draw aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious last month, the Navy will be in optimistic mood as they enter the third round draw, which involves the 20 Co-operative Championships clubs, French sides Toulouse Olympique and Lezignan and the 13 other second round winners.

The draw will take place from two pools: to create two pools of 18, two Championships clubs will be drawn at random from the first pool and entered into the second pool which features the community clubs, French teams and the Royal Navy.

A team will be drawn from each pool with home advantage decided by a random draw from a bag featuring two balls marked ‘Home’ and ‘Away’.

The draw will be conducted by former Workington Town scrum-half Sol Roper, who twice played at Wembley for the Cumbrians in the 1950s, and ex-Whitehaven, London and England forward Rob Purdham.

BBC Radio Cumbria will broadcast the draw live from Recreation Ground at 7.25pm.

Members of the public can attend the draw, which takes place as part of an evening of Rugby League on BBC Radio Cumbria in the J.J. McKeown Bar. Tickets cost just £2, including a buffet supper, payable on the door.


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