Premier Sports get major Challenge Cup gig

The Fifth Round draw for the Betfred Challenge Cup will be held on Monday night (February 28) – and shown live by Premier Sports, after their coverage of the Fourth Round tie between Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings.

The draw will be conducted by Emma Louise Jones, Kyle Amor and Kevin Brown, who will be part of the Premier Sports team at the Leigh Sports Village.

The Leigh-Widnes clash, a renewal of a fierce local rivalry between two teams with distinguished pedigrees in the Challenge Cup competition, will be the last of 10 Fourth Round ties this weekend.

BBC Sport will continue their round-by-round coverage of the competition on Sunday at 1pm by featuring the Royal Navy’s first Fourth Round appearance, a trip to the Batley Bulldogs club who were the first winners of the Challenge Cup in 1897.

That will be followed at 3pm by The Sportsman’s live coverage of the all-Betfred Championship meeting between York City Knights and Newcastle Thunder.

Also on Sunday, Hunslet Club Parkside will aim to join the select group of National Conference League clubs to reach the Fifth Round when they face Sheffield Eagles, the 1998 Challenge Cup winners, in a tie that has been switched to the South Leeds Stadium.

The Fifth Round will be the last stage of the 2022 competition before the entry of the Betfred Super League heavyweights in March – and that means it has an added significance in terms of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, the competition that was introduced in 2019 to give non Super League clubs a second and more realistic chance to be part of Challenge Cup Final day.

The winners of the five Fifth Round ties will enter the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – and three of them will be a single win from the Final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday May 28, with the other two to face a Play-Off to earn their place in the Semi Finals.

The draw for the Play-Off and Semi Finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup will be held in the week following the Betfred Challenge Cup Sixth Round, starting Monday, March 28.

The Play-Off will be held on the same weekend as the Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter Finals (April 9-10) – and any non-Super League clubs who qualify for the Quarter Finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup will be rewarded with exemption from the Play-Off draw.

The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi Finals will be played on the same weekend as the Betfred Challenge Cup Semi Finals, May 7-8.

If a team qualifies for the Semi Finals of both competitions, their 1895 Cup Semi Final will be delayed: if they reach the Betfred Challenge Cup Final, that would take precedence over the 1895 Cup Semi Final; if they lose the Betfred Challenge Cup Semi Final, the 1895 Cup Semi Final will be rearranged to provide the team with a second chance to reach Tottenham.

Betfred Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – key dates

Betfred Challenge Cup Fourth Round:
Saturday February 26 – North Wales Crusaders v Hunslet (Caldy RFC, 2pm)
Sunday February 27 – Batley Bulldogs v Royal Navy (1pm, live on BBC Sport), Doncaster v Whitehaven (2pm), Hunslet Club Parkside v Sheffield Eagles (2pm, South Leeds Stadium), Workington Town v Dewsbury Rams (2pm), Halifax Panthers v Featherstone Rovers (3pm), London Broncos v Bradford Bulls (3pm), Rochdale Hornets v Barrow Raiders (3pm), York City Knights v Newcastle Thunder (3pm, live on The Sportsman).
Monday February 28: Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings (745pm, live on Premier Sports) – followed by Fifth Round draw

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