The end of the Magic Weekend all but confirmed?

Recently Leigh Leopards and Hull KR served up a history making Challenge Cup Final and the first without Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens since 1986.

It was historic as well because after the men’s Challenge Cup Final took place, Halifax Panthers and Batley Bulldogs met in the 1895 Cup Final after the action had started with the first ever women’s Challenge Cup Final held at Wembley between St Helens and Leeds.

Next year the Challenge Cup Final is set to break more new ground moving to June 8th.

This date may sound familiar to you because this is often the time reserved for the Magic Weekend with the event taking place at the start of June this year.

So could this mean the end of the Magic Weekend? It certainly puts it in doubt but RL Commercial have been open about being willing to find a new date but if remaining at St James’ Park the date would have to fit around the Premier League season.

Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of Rugby League Commercial, said of the new Challenge Cup Final date:

“We are pleased to be able to confirm that Betfred Challenge Cup Finals Day will be played at Wembley Stadium in each of the next two years and will be returning to an earlier position in the season in June.

“This fits with the Reimagining of Rugby League through the sport’s long-term partnership with IMG, as we work towards a restructured calendar, and also maintain the double header of Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cup Finals given the growth potential of the Women’s and Girls’ game.

“This will be an historic weekend for the sport’s longest-established showpiece, as for the first time the athletes of Women’s Rugby League take their rightful place on the Wembley stage alongside the men – with both Finals given a national platform on BBC Sport.

“With a fresh feel to the Men’s Final between two teams who have waited a long time since their single Wembley Challenge Cup wins in 1971 and 1980, and two new finalists in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, there is a real mood of positivity going into the weekend, as Rugby League plays its part in the centenary celebrations for Wembley Stadium.”

Paul Smyth, Head of Operations at Wembley Stadium, added:

“We are delighted to host Rugby League’s Challenge Cup Finals Day here at Wembley Stadium for another two years.

“Challenge Cup Final day is always one of the great days in the calendar and we are proud to have hosted it here at Wembley since 1929. We look forward to putting on more world-class finals over the next few years.”