North Wales Crusaders, West Wales Raiders, Rhondda Outlaws, and Cardiff Demons will find out their Challenge Cup opponents on Thursday January 12 when the draws for the early rounds of both the Betfred Men’s and Women’s competitions will be held at Wembley Stadium – which is where the Finals of both competitions will be staged in an historic double header exactly seven months later.
The Men’s Challenge Cup Final will return to Wembley in August 2023 after a two-year absence, and will be preceded for the first time by the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final.
The road to Wembley is significantly different in each competition.
In the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup, the 12 teams from the Betfred Women’s Super League – including the champions Leeds Rhinos, the 2022 Cup winners St Helens, and three new names for the competition in Leigh Leopards, Salford Red Devils and York Valkyrie – will be joined by Oulton Raidettes and Hull KR from the Women’s RL Championship, and Cardiff Demons and London Broncos from the Betfred Women’s Super League South.
The 16 teams will be drawn into four groups of four, with matches beginning on April 23, and the top two in each group qualifying for Quarter Finals on June 18.
The Betfred Men’s Challenge Cup will kick off on the weekend of February 11-12 with 34 teams from the community game including Rhondda Outlaws, who won the South Wales Men’s League this year, each of the three Armed Forces, six teams from the Southern Conference League, and one each from Scotland and Ireland – with Dublin City Exiles returning to the competition for the first time since 2002.
The 17 winners will be joined in the Second Round two weeks later by 10 teams from the Impact Performance National Conference League Premier Division and 11 teams from Betfred League One – including Welsh clubs North Wales Crusaders and West Wales Raiders, as well as Cornwall RLFC, who will make their competition debut in their second full season.
The First and Second Round draws will both be held at Wembley on January 12, and covered live, with the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup First Round draw, on BBC Sport – with further details of coverage to follow in the New Year.
Tickets for the historic 2023 Betfred Challenge Cup Finals Double Header are on sale now at eticketing.co.uk/rugbyleague and fans can take advantage of an Early Bird offer of 25% OFF all tickets, with prices from only £15 Adults and £7.50 Under 16s.
Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup – First Round draw (16 teams)
Barrow Raiders, Bradford Bulls, Cardiff Demons, Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Leigh Leopards, London Broncos, Oulton Raidettes, Salford Red Devils, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, York Valkyrie.
Betfred Challenge Cup – First Round draw (34 teams)
Impact Performance NCL – Featherstone Lions, Heworth, Hull Dockers, Ince Rose Bridge, Milford, Myton Warriors, Oulton Raiders, Saddleworth Rangers, Skirlaugh, Stanningley, Thornhill Trojans, West Bowling, Wigan St Patricks;
British Army, Great Britain Police, RAF, Royal Navy;
Ashton Bears, Bedford Tigers, Brentwood Eels, Distington, Doncaster Toll Bar, Dublin City Exiles, Edinburgh Eagles, Fryston Warriors, Hammersmith Hills Hoists, Jarrow Vikings, London Chargers, North Herts Crusaders, Orrell St James, Rhondda Outlaws, Waterhead, Westgate Common, Wests Warriors.
Betfred Challenge Cup – Second Round draw (38 teams)
17 First Round winners
Impact Performance NCL Premier (10) – Hunslet ARLFC, Leigh Miners, Lock Lane, Pilkington Recs, Rochdale Mayfield, Siddal, Thatto Heath Crusaders, Wath Brow Hornets, West Hull, York Acorn
Betfred League One (11) – Cornwall, Dewsbury Rams, Doncaster, Hunslet, London Skolars, Midlands Hurricanes, North Wales Crusaders, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets, West Wales Raiders, Workington Town