The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup has been reshaped because of the unique set of circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – with Saints and the other 9 Super League clubs remaining in the competition to be included in a redraw for the Sixth Round and the Quarter Finals later this week.
Saints were set to face Salford on Saturday 22 August at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium, but following the withdrawal from the competition of Toronto Wolfpack and the five Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs who had earned places in the last 16, the RFL Board was faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances. Having considered all the options, and having received the support of the BBC and Coral, the RFL Board decided that a redraw of the Sixth Round is the best and fairest way of proceeding.
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 and how it will be streamed for both the Sixth Round and the Quarter Finals will be confirmed by the RFL 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.
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.
“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 Club will share details of the draw as soon as it has been released.