Wigan Warriors face wait over Challenge Cup opponents

The Challenge CupThe Challenge Cup
The Challenge Cup
The Coral Challenge Cup's sixth round will be redrawn after the withdrawal of six clubs, the Rugby Football League has announced.

Toronto Wolfpack and five Championship and League One clubs have all pulled out of their scheduled last-16 ties, leaving 10 Super League clubs in the competition.

An RFL statement said: "The 2020 Coral Challenge Cup has been reshaped because of the unique set of circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic - with the 10 Super League clubs remaining in the competition to be included in a redraw for the sixth round and the quarter-finals later this week.

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"Following the withdrawal from the competition of Toronto Wolfpack and the five Betfred Championship and League One 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 RFL confirmed six Super League clubs will receive a bye into the quarter-finals with two sixth-round ties to be played at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield on August 22.

Warriors had been due to play Warrington on that date, but will now have to wait to learn their path to Wembley.

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All four quarter-finals will be played over the weekend of September 18-20 and will be televised by the BBC and Sky Sports.

The Challenge Cup final had already been rescheduled for October 17.

"Details of the draw for both the sixth round and the quarter-finals will be confirmed later (on Tuesday)," the RFL said.

"As previously announced, the Coral Challenge Cup semi-finals will be held on Saturday, October 3, with both matches shown live on the BBC.

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"The final will follow two weeks later, with the venues for those matches to be confirmed in the coming weeks."

Toronto Wolfpack announced eight days ago that they would take no further part in the 2020 season due to "overwhelming financial challenges" caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sheffield Eagles, who cited a lack of preparation as another big factor, and fellow Championship club York Knights had earlier announced their withdrawals from the competition.

The RFL confirmed earlier this month that the 2020 Championship and League One seasons will not resume after they were suspended in March.

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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 One 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."