Rugby League gets its annual Wembley showcase on Saturday, August 24 when the Challenge Cup Final takes place. Rugby League’s most historic and prestigious competition, the Challenge Cup features teams from all levels of the sport – from university teams and the armed forces through to the sport’s international stars – who battle it out over eight months of the year for the right to play in the final.
Challenge Cup finals have been played at Wembley most years since 1929, and the famous London stadium is sure to be close to its 90,000 capacity for this year’s match.
Rugby League is seen traditionally as a northern sport in England, and teams from the North make up the majority of teams in the Super League. However clubs from outside the North, such as the London Broncos and the French side Catalans Dragons have done well in recent years.
Eight teams are still left in this year’s competition: Sheffield Eagles, London Broncos, Catalans Dragons, Hull FC, Warrington Wolves (the reigning champions), Huddersfield Giants, Wigan Warriors (the most successful side in the competition’s history) and Widnes Vikings. Their quarter-final ties will take place from July 12 to 15, with the winners going through to the semi-finals on July 27 and 28.
The captain of the winning team will get to lift the historic sterling silver Challenge Cup (the original, made in 1897 is no longer presented due to its delicate condition – a replica has been used since 2001). The man of the match takes home the Lance Todd Trophy, won last year by Warrington’s Brett Hodgson after his side defeated Leeds Rhinos 35-18.