Wembley to host double draw to launch 2023 Challenge Cups live on BBC

Betfred Challenge Cups Women's Challenge Cup SWpix
Betfred currently sponsor the Super League and Challenge Cup competitions | Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

The draws for the early rounds of both the Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cups will be held on Thursday, January 12, at Wembley Stadium.

They will be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Online at 6pm.

Presenter Tanya Arnold will be joined by representatives from the current holders of both competitions, Wigan men’s Matty Peet and Kai Pearce-Paul, and Eboni Partington from St Helens women.

The ties for round one and two of the men’s draw will be held on Thursday, with the draw for the group stage format of the women’s draw also being made.

Historic road to Wembley

Both finals will be staged at the iconic stadium as part of a historic double-header in August. The Men’s Challenge Cup will return to Wembley after being played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022.

In the Women’s Challenge Cup, the 12 teams from the Women’s Super League will be joined by Oulton Raidettes and Hull KR from the Women’s Championship, and Cardiff Demons and London Broncos from the Women’s Super League South.

The 16 teams will be drawn into four groups of four, with matches beginning on April 23, and the top two in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals on June 18.

The men’s Challenge Cup will kick-off on the weekend of February 11-12 with 34 teams from the community game including each of the three Armed Forces, six teams from the Southern Conference League, and one each from Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Dublin City Exiles have qualified for the Challenge Cup and are aiming to make history by becoming the first Irish team to win a match in the competition. They return to the competition for the first time since 2002.

The 18 winners will be joined in the Second Round two weeks later by 10 teams from the National Conference League Premier Division and 10 teams from League One – including Cornwall, who will make their debut in the competition. 

Super League clubs will enter in the last 16, with champions St Helens and current cup holders Wigan likely to feature prominently when checking out this rugby betting guide, with tips and odds.

St Helens are the 7/2 favourites to make it successive Wembley final wins, having won the 2021 competition against Castleford.

Wigan have won it a record 20 times, and are 9/2 second favourites to win it for a second year in a row. They haven’t won it in consecutive years since their famous run of eight straight victories from 1988 to 1995.

The last team to win it back-to-back were Hull FC, who are sixth favourites at 10/1. Leeds (6/1) and Warrington (8/1) have also won it back-to-back in the last 14 seasons.

Featherstone are the highest priced non-Super League club.

READ NEXT: Irish team hoping to make Challenge Cup history

About James Gordon 7308 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

1 Comment

  1. Hmmmm. Challenge Cup. It should be just what it says it is. A challenge. Not, let’s wait for six rounds, then make it a three game competition, with a guaranteed Super League winner.
    Every team that wants to play goes into the hat. If that means St. Elsewhere have to travel to East Hull and play on front of 20 supporters and a dog, then so be it. Don’t allow em to change venues, it’s played on whatever comes up. No putting out your reserve grade fifth team, the Super League team plays or you lose. It’s one game, who wins goes into the next draw. SIMPLE.
    Stop making it an also ran. Make it special, make it a spectacle. If someone gets beat by 70 points on a school playing field, I bet they will stand up tall and say “we got to play Wigwam on our pitch!” That’s the Cup Magic. Not three rounds of Super League.
    And don’t any of em dare say the players are tired. Too many games. You are supposed to be Men of Steel. Act like it. If it means you play on Tuesday and again on Saturday so be it. Stand up and be counted. Make our game great again.

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