Leeds Rhinos, St Helens, Leigh Leopards, Hull KR, Halifax Panthers and Batley Bulldogs are all headed to Wembley this weekend.
Leeds and Saints meet in the Women’s Challenge Cup as St Helens chase a third straight Challenge Cup Final win.
Leigh vs Hull KR is of course the main event but the action concludes with a great 1895 Cup Final between Halifax and Batley.
Last year Leigh win the 1895 Cup Final showing the success that can come from the springboard of the final.
The winners of the trophy in 2021 where Featherstone who defeated York in a great Final at Wembley.
Last year’s final was held at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium.
This year’s final should be a great final but it will not be shown on BBC or even BBC IPlayer.
Halifax confirmed as such with the following statement:
“The 2023 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Batley Bulldogs and Halifax Panthers will be shown live, exclusive and completely free on the Our League web and app. (As has been rumoured, the game WILL NOT be shown on BBC Iplayer. )
“It will complete an eight-hour feast of Rugby League from Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, following the historic double of the Betfred Women’s and Men’s Challenge Cup Finals, which will be shown live on BBC2 and BBC1 respectively.
“The Women’s Final kicks off at 11:50am, the Men’s Final in the traditional slot of 3pm, and the fourth AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will kick off at 5:30pm.
“Batley and Halifax are each playing in their first Final, and this will be the first 1895 Cup Final contested by two founder members of the Northern Union when it was formed in 1895.
“It will be Batley’s first appearance at Wembley Stadium, as although they were the first winners of the Challenge Cup in 1897 and won it twice more in the next four years, that was well before the bold decision to take the Final south to Wembley in 1929.
“Halifax have won the Challenge Cup five times, the last three of them at Wembley – most recently against St Helens in 1987.
“As has been the case since the Final was first played at Wembley in 2019, the winner of the Ray French Award as Player of the Match will be determined by the votes of Our League members.
“Anthony Thackeray was the first winner of the award, named after the hugely popular former dual code international and BBC commentator following a poll of Our League members, when Sheffield Eagles beat Widnes Vikings in 2019.
“After the competition was suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Thackeray was followed in 2021 by Craig Hall for his performance in Featherstone Rovers’ victory over York.
“And last year the Papua New Guinea hooker Edwin Ipape became the first overseas winner when he was voted the outstanding performer in Leigh’s win against Featherstone.
“Our League is Rugby League’s membership platform, completely free to join, and now boasting more than 250,000 members.”