Squad watch: Challenge Cup sixth round squad news, TV coverage & predictions

Josh McAllister
Challenge Cup News Images

Photo: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the Challenge Cup sixth round, including squad news, television coverage and our predictions.

The Challenge Cup returns this weekend with the sixth round, with all 12 Super League clubs entering the prestigious competition at this stage.

Championship sides Halifax, Batley, York and London also remain in the Challenge Cup, with a handful of mouth-watering ties ahead.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Challenge Cup sixth round squads:

Halifax v St Helens (Friday, 7:45pm, live on Viaplay)

Sione Mata'utia St Helens News Images
Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images

Dan Fleming misses out for Halifax due to being cup-tied. The Welsh international featured from the bench in the 22-18 defeat with Featherstone against his current club.

Kevin Larroyer and Brandon Pickersgill return to Simon Grix’s squad. Will Maher also drops out in two changes made following the side’s 60-0 Championship win over Whitehaven. 

Following his 532nd appearance for the club, St Helens skipper James Roby has been given well-deserved rest this week. Head coach Paul Wellens does however welcome back Sione Mata’utia, Agnatius Paasi and Morgan Knowles.

Matty Lees misses out through suspension.

It is St Helens’ first visit to The Shay in 20 years.

Halifax: Calcott, Doro, Fairbank, Gee, Inman, Jouffret, Kavanagh, Keyes, Lannon, Larroyer, Maizen, McComb, Moore, Murray, Pickersgill, Saltsonstall, Tangata, Tibbs, Walmsley, Wood, Woodburn-Hall.

St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Hopoate, Bennison, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Mata’utia, Batchelor, Knowles, Lussick, LMS, Paasi, Wingfield, Bell, Norman, Davies, Royle, Ritson, Delaney, Bruines.

Prediction: The two sides last faced in 2019 during the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, with then-Justin Holbrook’s side claiming a 26-2 victory in Bolton. You’d think current boss Wellens will enjoy the same success this year.

Wakefield v Leigh (Friday, 7:45pm)

Frankie Halton Ireland

New signing Frankie Halton has been named straight into Adrian Lam’s 21-man squad. The Ireland international returns to his hometown club on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Hull KR with immediate effect.

Fiji international prop Ben Nakubuwai misses out through injury.

Wakefield boss Mark Applegarth has recalled youngsters Dane Windrow and Oli Pratt from their respective loans at Newcastle and York. The side are still winless in 2023. 

Wakefield: Taufua, Lineham, Gaskell, Lino, Battye, Hood, Whitbread, Pitts, Crowther, Kay, Bowden, Atoni, Kershaw, Proctor, Smith, Bowes, Eseh, Windrow, Law, Pratt, Dagger.

Leigh: Hardaker, Briscoe, Chamberlain, Leutele, Charnley, Mellor, Lam, Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, Asiata, Reynolds, Holmes, O’Brien, Davis, Nisbet, Gannon, O’Donnell, Wilde, Seumanufagai, Halton.

Predictions: While Leigh boss Lam insists Wakefield are a different side to the one his side beat 32-0 in Round Nine of Super League, it’s hard to see beyond a Leopards win. The visitors by 22.

Hull KR v Batley (Friday, 8pm)

Jimmy Keinhorst Hull KR News Images
Photo: James Heaton/News Images

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters has recalled Luis Johnson from his season-long loan agreement at Castleford ahead of the tie with Championship side Batley.

Matt Parcell drops out after failing his head injury assessment against Warrington. Prop forward Sauaso Sue misses out due to his one match suspension.

Jimmy Keinhorst and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e have been named. 

Hull KR: Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, R.Hall, King, Linnett, Minchella, Litten, Kennedy, Batchelor, Storton, Keinhorst, Lewis, Hadley, Senior, Wood, Johnson, Luckley, Aydin, Laulu-Togaga’e, C.Hall.

Batley: Johnson, Buchanan, Hodson, Campbell, White, Woods, Gledhill, Manning, Walshaw, Meadows, Kear, Ward, Blake, Senior, Lillycrop, Kibula, McGowan, Kaye, Flynn, Burton, Reilly.

Prediction: This will no doubt be an entertaining tie, with newly appointed Castleford assistant Craig Lingard leading Batley into what could be his last Challenge Cup fixture with the Bulldogs. Hull KR by 22.

Leeds v Wigan (Saturday, 2:30pm, live on BBC)

Aidan Sezer, SWPix.
Picture by Olly Hassell/SWpix.com.

Wigan will be looking to bounce back from their Super League 40-18 defeat to Rohan Smith’s Leeds at the DW Stadium last Friday, having found themselves 14-0 up in the first half.

Matt Peet has made just one change to his squad, with Kaide Ellis returning and Willie Isa dropping out due to a hamstring issue.

Having missed the win over his former club, James McDonnell returns to Leeds’ 21-man squad. James Bentley misses out due to head injury protocols, while Zane Tetevano will begin his two-match suspension after being shown a red card against the Warriors.

Half-back Aidan Sezer also returns for the first time since suffering a dead leg in the defeat at Leigh three weeks ago.

Leeds: Myler, Newman, Macdonald, Handley, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, Martin, Smith, O’Connor, Lisone, Olpherts, Sangare, Holroyd, McDonnell, Gannon, Walters, Tindall, Roberts, Donaldson, Johnson.

Wigan: French, King, Wardle, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Smithies, Ellis, Havard, Pearce-Paul, Shorrocks, Mago, Thornley, O’Neill, Miski, Hill, Nsemba, Hampshire.

Prediction: A tricky one to predict after last week’s game of two halves. Wigan, just. The visitors by eight.

Catalans v Warrington (Saturday, 5pm)

Gil Dudson Warrington News Images
Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

Siua Taukeiaho and Matthieu Laguerre are back in Steve McNamara’s Catalans squad and replace injured duo Adam Keighran and Tom Davies. 

Gil Dudson returns from his five-match suspension, having picked up the ban against his former club in Super League for a punch on opposition winger Tom Johnstone.

Connor Wrench has been named for the first time since suffering an ACL injury last year. He made his return for the side’s reserves last weekend. Matty Russell drops out after suffering a head knock against Hull KR.

Catalans: Mourgue, Laguerre, Pearce, McMeeken, McIlorum, Bousquet, Whitley, Seguier, Garcia, Goudemand, Navarrete, Rouge, Chan, Romano, Ikuvalu, Taukeiaho, Dezaria, Johnstone, Ma’u, Tomkins, Zenon.

Warrington: Ashton, Bullock, Clark, Currie, Drinkwater, Dudson, Dufty, Green, Harrison, Hayes, Kasiano, Mata’utia, McGuire, Minikin, Philbin, Ratchford, Thewlis, Vaughan, Walker, Williams, Wrench.

Prediction: Catalans by 12.

Salford v Huddersfield (Saturday, 7:30pm, live on Viaplay)

Theo Fages, Huddersfield Giants, PA Images
Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images.

Paul Rowley has only named a 19-man Salford squad for Saturday’s televised tie. Shane Wright misses out after suffering a suspected broken ankle against St Helens, while Andy Ackers will undergo head injury protocols.

Huddersfield have confirmed that Chris McQueen is unavailable due to personal reasons, while Nathan Peats will serve his one-match suspension.

Theo Fages and Joe Greenwood return to the squad following their respective injuries sustained against Castleford in March, with Jermaine McGillvary missing out due to a training injury. 

Salford: Brierley, Watkins, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Ormondroyd, Vuniyayawa, Dixon, Stone, Partington, Atkin, Addy, Dupree, Gerrard, Longstaff, Williams, Costello, Hellewell, Cross.

Huddersfield: Connor, Marsters, Naiqama, Bibby, Lolohea, Fages, Hill, Greenwood, Yates, English, Rushton, Ikahihifo, O’Brien, Wilson, Cudjoe, Livett, Halsall, Senior, Hewitt, Pryce, Rush.

Prediction: A really tough one to call. Salford by 10.

Castleford v Hull (Sunday, 3pm, live on BBC)

Tex Hoy, SWPix.
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Niall Evalds and Jacob Miller will miss Sunday’s televised fixture through injury and concussion protocols respectively. Bureta Faraimo and Liam Watts miss out through suspension, while Alex Sutcliffe returns. 

Academy product George Hill has been named in the 21-man squad for the first time.

Hull are boosted by the return of full-back and NRL recruit Tex Hoy for the first time since early April. Nick Staveley has also been named in two changes for Tony Smith’s side, with Scott Taylor (suspended) and Davy Litten (injured) missing out. 

Castleford: Turner, Fonua, Widdop, Lawler, McShane, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman, Massey, Sutcliffe, Milner, Broadbent, Mustapha, Matagi, Robb, Martin, Hall, Hookem, Hill, Tate.

Hull: Hoy, Swift, Tuimavave, Sutcliffe, McIntosh, Trueman, Clifford, Sao, Houghton, Satae, Lane, Fash, Lovodua, Cator, Scott, McNamara, Brown, Griffin, Gardiner, Staveley, Dwyer.

Prediction: Following recent forms, Hull by 16.

York v London (Sunday, 3pm)

Andrew Henderson, Championship
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Jesse Dee returns for Andrew Henderson’s York alongside front-rower Harry Price. Loanees Connor Barley and Oli Pratt drop out of the squad, having been recalled by parent clubs Hull KR and Wakefield respectively. 

Wigan’s Ramon Silva has been named in London Broncos’ 21-man squad.

The two sides met earlier in May in the Championship at the LNER Community Stadium, with the hosts claiming a 30-28 victory.

York: Butterworth, Barnard, Brown, Clarkson, Cunningham, Daley, Dee, Field, Glover, Harrison, Hingano, Jubb, Kirby, Kirmond, Marsh, Michael, Price, Ta’ai, Teanby, Thompson, Towse.

London: Albert, Allen, Bassett, Bienek, Davis, Horsman, Hoyes, B.Leyland, O.Leyland, Lovell, Macani, Natoli, Parata, Parke, Raiwalui, Silva, Stock, Ulberg, Waine, Walker, Williams.

Prediction: York by 10.