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Challenge Cup to be redrawn

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WARRINGTON Wolves could receive a bye in to the quarter-finals of the 2020 Challenge Cup after it was decided to redraw the sixth round.

The Wolves had been scheduled to play Wigan at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on August 22, but following the withdrawal of six clubs from the competition, the RFL have confirmed that there will be a redraw.

The five non-Super League teams left in the competition have pulled out, citing player welfare and financial reasons after their league seasons were cancelled by the RFL.

That followed Toronto Wolfpack’s departure, after the Canadian club announced they would not be participating for the remainder of 2020.

When the draw is re-done, six clubs will receive a bye to the quarter-finals – meaning just two games will be played in the sixth round.

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

“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.”

The road to the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final, which has been rescheduled for Saturday October 17, will begin with two Sixth Round ties to be played at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on Saturday August 22 – with both shown live on the BBC.

The remaining six Super League clubs in the competition will receive a bye to the Quarter Finals on the weekend of September 18-20, to be televised by the BBC and Sky Sports.

Details of the draw for both the Sixth Round and the Quarter Finals will be confirmed later today.

As previously announced, the Coral Challenge Cup Semi Finals will be held on Saturday October 3, with both matches shown live on the BBC. The Final will follow two weeks later, with the venues for those matches to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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