Challenge Cup final update as concerns about its postponement grow

The RFL has been working with the four Wembley finalists to ensure Saturday’s matches go ahead after amid fears they could be postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

York City Knights will play Featherstone Rovers in the 1895 Cup final at midday before Castleford and St Helens go head-to-head for the Challenge Cup.

But with a number of Super League fixtures postponed in recent days, there have been growing concerns that both finals could end up being scrapped also.

Plans had already been drawn up for one of the losing Challenge Cup semi-finalists – Warrington and Hull FC – to step into Saints or Castleford’s shoes had a COVID-19 outbreak ran either side ragged.

But that deadline has passed and Karen Moorhouse, chief regulatory officer of the Rugby Football League, told journalists: “It’s going to be a fantastic weekend for the sport.

“We have worked closely with the clubs to make sure that they are absolutely doubling down on protocols to minimise and mitigate the risk of any of the players getting COVID.

“And as importantly, minimising and mitigating the risk of any spread of that infection or people not as close contacts.

“We have worked closely with the clubs in relation to that. We have also done some contingency planning which included if there had there been a shutdown early on.

“Had we known by today that a club wasn’t going to be able to make the final, we would have brought in one of the losing semi-finalists to play that match.

“We are now just about past that point at which it would have been a possibility. But we still do have contingency plans in place.”

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