SIX teams to receive a bye to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals

The RFL have confirmed the Challenge Cup sixth round will be redrawn after five more teams pulled out of the competition.

Toronto Wolfpack’s withdrawal last week has been followed by all five non-Super League teams, with the majority citing risks to player welfare after the Championship and League One seasons were declared null and void.

As a result, the remaining 10 Super League teams will go into a new sixth round draw that will produce two ties and hand the other six teams a bye to the quarter-finals.

The two sixth round ties will be played at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday August 22, with the quarter-finals on the weekend of September 18-20.

Simon Johnson, the Chair of the RFL, said: “As with so much of sport and society in recent months, we have faced unique challenges in reshaping the Coral Challenge Cup.

Warrington Wolves won the 2019 Challenge Cup after beating St Helens at Wembley. Credit: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

“We are wholly sympathetic to the Championship and League 1 clubs who had earned places in the Sixth Round, but for various reasons and quite understandably, do not now feel it would be in their best interests to continue in the competition.

“We believe that the fairest way to proceed from here is to redraw, meaning two Sixth Round ties and the other six clubs receiving a bye to the Quarter Finals. We hope that supporters and clubs will understand this decision.

“Given the quality of the clubs remaining in the competition, it means we are guaranteed some mouthwatering ties.

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Coral, the BBC and the clubs for their recognition that we have had to be flexible given such an unusual situation.

“We are very pleased that the Coral Challenge Cup will continue, and the sport can look forward to some more memorable occasions and fascinating chapters in this historic competition.”

Both sixth round ties will be live on BBC, with the quarter-finals live on BBC and Sky Sports.

Details of the sixth round and quarter-final draws will be confirmed later today.

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