RFL confirm Challenge Cup will be redrawn

The Challenge Cup sixth round will be redrawn after six clubs confirmed their withdrawal from this season’s competition.

Toronto Wolfpack had already pulled out following their decision not to resume the Super League season, and the five non-Super League clubs had been given until the end of July to make a decision on their participation.

With the Championship and League 1 seasons cancelled, the quintet all came to the conclusion that for player welfare and financial reasons, they could not remain in the competition.

The RFL say that having considered all the options, and having received the support of the BBC and sponsors Coral, that a redraw is the best and fairest way of proceeding.

The road to the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final, which has been rescheduled for Saturday October 17, will begin with two Sixth Round ties to be played at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on Saturday August 22 – with both shown live on the BBC.

The remaining six Super League clubs in the competition will receive a bye to the Quarter Finals on the weekend of September 18-20, to be televised by the BBC and Sky Sports.

Details of the draw for both the Sixth Round and the Quarter Finals will be confirmed later today.

As previously announced, the Coral Challenge Cup Semi Finals will be held on Saturday October 3, with both matches shown live on the BBC. The Final will follow two weeks later, with the venues for those matches to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Simon Johnson, the Chair of the RFL, said: “As with so much of sport and society in recent months, we have faced unique challenges in reshaping the Coral Challenge Cup.

“We are wholly sympathetic to the Championship and League 1 clubs who had earned places in the Sixth Round, but for various reasons and quite understandably, do not now feel it would be in their best interests to continue in the competition.

“We believe that the fairest way to proceed from here is to redraw, meaning two Sixth Round ties and the other six clubs receiving a bye to the Quarter Finals. We hope that supporters and clubs will understand this decision.

“Given the quality of the clubs remaining in the competition, it means we are guaranteed some mouthwatering ties.

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Coral, the BBC and the clubs for their recognition that we have had to be flexible given such an unusual situation.

“We are very pleased that the Coral Challenge Cup will continue, and the sport can look forward to some more memorable occasions and fascinating chapters in this historic competition.”

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