Challenge Cup Final set to be moved

All weekend, as another brilliant Magic Weekend took place on the field of Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, there has been a sub plot.

Because of IMG’s re-imagining of rugby league, the Magic Weekend has faced an uncertain future and there have been constant debates over the likelihood it stays beyond 2023.

However, as confirmed by RL Commercial’s Rhodri Jones on Sky Sports, the event’s future hinges on other events as he confirmed that the Challenge Cup Final is set to move to earlier in the year come 2024 and beyond.

This casts doubt over the Magic Weekend.

He said: “As part of the IMG recommendations, our strategic partner, they came up with the recommendation that we needed a calendar that needed flow and peak.

“As part of that recommendation we were going to look at the format and the dates around the Challenge Cup.

“The Challenge Cup is likely to shift in the calendar to earlier in the year from its late summer final that we have at the moment and because of this we have to look at alternative dates for the Magic Weekend.

“So that’s the first thing and then we have to look at the availability of venues.

“If we stayed here at St James’ Park, we could be looking at the start of the season, in the middle of the football season or when they don’t have a pitch.

“It’s not just Magic, it is the calendar as a whole.”