Rugby League: Mayfield to enter first-round draw of 2020 Coral Challenge Cup
Date published: 19 November 2019
Mayfield's squad in March 2019
Rochdale Mayfield is one of 44 community rugby clubs to enter the first-round draw of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup, which will take place in Doncaster on Thursday 5 December.
The draw will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website, red button and the BBC Sport connected TV app, as well as through Rugby Football League channels and the first round fixtures will be played on the weekend of January 11-12.
The 11 clubs from Betfred League 1, including Rochdale Hornets, will enter the competition at the third-round stage on the weekend of February 8-9 and the 13 English clubs in the Betfred Championship will enter at the fourth-round stage on the weekend of February 22-23.
Before that, the stage belongs to 44 community clubs such as Rochdale Mayfield, and also includes five members of the new Southern Conference League – Torfaen, Bedford Tigers, London Chargers, Wests Warriors and the inaugural champions, Hammersmith Hills Hoists – plus the Royal Navy, British Army, RAF and Great Britain Police.
All will be aiming to emulate Thatto Heath Crusaders of St Helens, who earned significant BBC exposure in 2019 with a run to the fifth round, including a landmark victory over North Wales Crusaders of League 1, before losing to Dewsbury of the Championship.
There will be a new rhythm to the Coral Challenge Cup next year, with the traditional Wembley Final being played in July for the first time.
The semi-finals will be played as a double header for the third consecutive year on the weekend of June 6-7, with the quarter finals on the weekend of May 9-10, and the sixth round – when the top eight teams from the 2019 Super League enter the competition, including the cup holders Warrington Wolves – on the weekend of April 4-5.
The remaining four Super League clubs – Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Wakefield Trinity and Toronto Wolfpack, who return to the cup after a one-year absence – will enter at the fifth-round stage on the weekend of March 14-15.
The Wolfpack and Catalans Dragons will be the only two overseas clubs taking part in the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup – with the Wolfpack to play all their games away, whatever their draw, because of the logistical issues involved in arranging additional games in Canada at short notice.
Toulouse Olympique of the Betfred Championship have again declined the invitation to participate, and Red Star Belgrade, who made their Challenge Cup debut in 2019 and lost in the first round on a memorable occasion at the Cumbrian community club Millom, have also opted out in 2020 because of the demands on their players.
However, the Longhorns will again represent the Republic of Ireland, with Edinburgh Eagles from Scotland and two Welsh teams in Torfaen Tigers and Rhondda Outlaws.
2020 Coral Challenge Cup
- December 5: first round draw
- January 11-12: first round (44 community clubs)
- January 25-26: second round (22 first round winners)
- February 8-9: third round (11 second round winners, 11 Betfred League 1 clubs)
- February 22-23: fourth round (11 third round winners, 13 English Betfred Championship clubs)
- March 14-15: fifth round (12 fourth round winners, plus four Betfred Super League clubs – Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Toronto Wolfpack, Wakefield Trinity)
- April 4-5: sixth round (8 fifth round winners, plus the remaining 8 Betfred Super League clubs)
- May 9-10: quarter finals
- June 6-7: semi-finals
- Final: Saturday July 18 at Wembley Stadium
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