DO NOT PUBLISH — Rugby League Challenge Cup 2023: everything you need to know

This year marks the 122nd edition of the Rugby League Challenge Cup, the oldest rugby competition in the world. It has been held almost every year since 1896, and this time around, Skyscanner is a proud LED sponsor of the event — you might hear one of our ads on Atlantis Radio or see our logo swooshing around the stadiums. If you’re planning to catch some of the action, read on to find out when and where you can watch the Rugby League Challenge Cup 2023 matches.

Seventy-one teams will compete in the Rugby League Challenge Cup in 2023, with matches occurring between February and August. This year, the final will once again take place in its traditional home of Wembley Stadium in London, after being relocated to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022 as the result of a scheduling conflict. The current holders of the cup are Wigan, who beat Huddersfield by just two points in a nail-biting final in 2022. They remain the most successful team in the Cup’s history, with a record 20 wins.

Rugby League Challenge Cup 2023 matches

The Rugby League Challenge Cup 2023 is divided into six rounds, followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. Rounds 1, 2 and 3 have already been played, and Round 4 is set to take place on 1–2 April. Round 5 will be played over 22–23 April, and Round 6 over 19–21 May. Round 6 is when the 12 teams from the Super League will join the competition, including the current cup holders, the Wigan Warriors.

The Rugby League Challenge Cup quarter-finals will be played on 17–18 June, followed by the semi-finals on 22–23 July and the final on 12 August.

Round 4 matches

Round 4 will be played on 1 and 2 April. The following eight matches are scheduled, with the home team listed first:

  • Dewsbury Rams v Widnes Vikings
  • Halifax Panthers v Barrow Raiders
  • Hunslet ARLFC v Batley Bulldogs
  • Keighley Cougars v North Wales Crusaders
  • London Broncos v Doncaster
  • Midlands Hurricanes v Bradford Bulls
  • Rochdale Mayfield v Newcastle Thunder
  • York Knights v Sheffield Eagles (Sunday 2 April, 12.30pm, BBC iPlayer)

Round 5 matches

Round 5 of the Rugby League Challenge Cup will take place on 22 April and 23 April. The following four matches are scheduled, with the home team listed first:

  • Halifax Panthers/Barrow Raiders v Midlands Hurricanes/Bradford Bulls
  • Hunslet ARLFC/Batley Bulldogs v Keighley Cougars/North Wales Crusaders
  • London Broncos/Doncaster v Dewsbury Rams/Widnes Vikings
  • York Knights/Sheffield Eagles v Rochdale Mayfield/Newcastle Thunder

Round 6 matches

Round 6 will take place between 19 May and 21 May, and at this point, the 12 teams of the Super League will join the competition alongside the winners of Round 5. The draw to determine which teams will face off against each other will occur on 1 May.

Rugby League Challenge Cup finals

The Rugby League Challenge Cup quarter-finals will be played on 17–18 June, followed by the semi-finals on 22–23 July and the final on 12 August. The final will be a doubleheader, with both the men’s and the women’s Challenge Cup finals played back-to-back at Wembley Stadium.

A visitor’s guide to the Rugby League Challenge Cup

If you’re planning to travel across the UK to watch a few matches, here’s a guide to where to stay and what to do in a few of the match locations.


If you’re heading to the final at Wembley Stadium, make sure to check out our guide to the top five things to do in London for ideas on where to go in the capital. There are also some fantastic walks around London’s famous sights, and if the sun is shining, here’s a guide to some of London’s best outdoor summer activities.

One of the highlights of London is its green spaces. Walk up Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath to enjoy some spectacular views across the capital, then head across the enormous park to wander through the landscaped gardens of Kenwood House. Primrose Hill offers equally sumptuous views, as well as some excellent nearby restaurants and pubs. St James’s Park is an oasis in the city’s centre, a stone’s throw from Parliament — it’s also home to an incongruous flock of pelicans, which were originally introduced as a gift from the Russian ambassador in 1664.

The nearest airport to Wembley Stadium is Heathrow, but it’s also easily reached by public transport from any of the main London airports.

Where to stay

If you’re making a weekend of it, why not splash out on one of London’s many luxury hotels? However, if money definitely is an object, there are also plenty of budget options available. One excellently quirky option is The Boathouse London, a beautifully converted barge in Paddington Basin, only a few stops on the Bakerloo Line from Wembley.


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West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire is home to the Super League teams Castleford Tigers, Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants, and there are lots of fascinating sites of industrial heritage to explore across the area. Just outside Shipley, you’ll find Saltaire, a model village constructed by the industrialist Titus Salt to provide good-quality accommodation for his workers. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the converted textile mill is home to a number of restaurants and galleries, including an exhibition of the work of David Hockney. The equivalent in Halifax is Dean Clough, an enormous 22-acre converted mill that’s home to shops, galleries and even an enormous Lego model of the mill made from around 1 million Lego bricks.

If you’re driving or plan to hire a car, you might want to think about heading to Haworth, home to the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Anne and Emily. The Brontë Parsonage attracts around 80,000 visitors a year, and the picturesque cobbled streets of Haworth have all sorts of quirky shops, including The Cabinet of Curiosities, a Victorian-style shop selling everything from badger shaving brushes to books on witchcraft. And if you want to arrive in Haworth in style, you could take a trip on the five-mile-long Worth Valley heritage steam railway, which runs from Keighley several times a day over the summer. If you’re flying to West Yorkshire, the main airport is Leeds Bradford.

Where to stay

If you’re staying in Leeds, The Bells is an absolutely stunning block of luxury serviced apartments just a ten-minute walk from Leeds train station. And not far from Huddersfield, you’ll find Woodsome Hall Golf Club, which offers high-quality accommodation in idyllic rural surroundings.

East Yorkshire

If you’re travelling to watch Hull FC or Hull Kingston Rovers in the Rugby League Challenge Cup, there are some wonderful days out to be had in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The Deep is Hull’s aquarium, located right on the shoreline in a dramatic triangular building that resembles jagged rocks. It’s home to over 5,000 animals, including sharks, rays, sawfish, penguins and even loggerhead turtles. If you fancy a trip to the nearby coast, the seaside resort of Bridlington is only a short trip up the A165 from Hull, and just outside the town, you’ll find the beautiful Sewerby Hall and Gardens. This Georgian country house was built in around 1714 and now attracts somewhere in the region of 150,000 visitors a year. Inside the house, you’ll find the Museum of East Yorkshire, and there’s a zoo and putting green in addition to the extensive gardens.

City, Country

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Where to stay

North of Hull, just outside Beverley, is the Tickton Grange Hotel, a beautiful, family-owned Georgian hotel set in 16 acres of gardens and meadows. But if you’d prefer to stay by the sea, there are some fabulous cottages to rent in Bridlington, just a stone’s throw from the beach.

Greater Manchester

The Greater Manchester area is home to the Super League teams Wigan Warriors, Salford Red Devils and Leigh Leopards, as well as the National Conference club Rochdale Mayfield. If you’re heading into the city itself, Manchester Museum is a must-see, with its extraordinary collection of antiquities and animals, including dinosaur fossils and Egyptian mummies. It’s free, too! There’s also the People’s History Museum, a fascinating look at the history of democracy that charts the struggle to gain the right to vote and receive fair pay, as well as looking towards the future. And guess what? It’s also free!

Where to stay

The Edwardian Manchester is an opulent hotel right in the city centre. It’s located in the Grade II-listed Free Trade Hall and boasts a champagne bar and swimming pool among its many five-star delights. The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, meanwhile, is housed in perhaps an even more stunning building: an enormous brick edifice that was once the headquarters of the Refuge Assurance Company.


If you plan to catch the York Knights, why not spend a few days exploring the city of York, with its thousands of years of history? York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, and parts of the current structure date back to the early thirteenth century, although the cathedral was founded around 600 years before that. There’s also the wonderful Jorvik Viking Centre to discover, whose name is derived from the Old Norse word for York. The centre offers a fascinating ride through life-size dioramas of Viking life, but make sure to book ahead, as it’s extremely popular.

Where to stay

Jorvik House is a cosy boutique hotel just next to Museum Gardens and only a short walk from York Minster. There’s also Goodramgate Apartments, which is right in the centre of town and has plenty of space for kids.


St Helens calls Merseyside home, and you’ll also find Warrington Wolves slap bang in the middle between Liverpool and Manchester. The main attraction in Liverpool is the historic Royal Albert Dock, which was revolutionary when it was constructed in 1846 since it let ships unload their cargo directly into warehouses. Now the dock has been converted to house a plethora of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums, including the Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, the International Slavery Museum and The Beatles Story, which features a look back at the life and times of the Fab Four.

Where to stay

Aloft Liverpool is housed in a stunning Grade II-listed building that was once the home of an insurance company, and it’s perfectly located in the centre of the city, not far from the Royal Albert Dock. Hope Street Hotel, meanwhile, has some gorgeous exposed brick rooms, and the upper floors provide stunning views across the city.

Enjoy the rugby!

Wherever you end up watching the Rugby League Challenge Cup, we hope you have a wonderful time!



Where is the Rugby League Challenge Cup 2023 final being held?

This year the final will once again be held at Wembley Stadium in London after being relocated to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022.

Which channel is the Rugby League Challenge Cup final being shown on?

The final will be shown on the BBC.

When is the 2023 Rugby League Challenge Cup final?

It’s being held on 12 August at Wembley Stadium.

Where can I watch the Rugby League Challenge Cup on TV?

It’s being broadcast on the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Sports in the UK, as well as Bien Sports (France, Belgium, Luxembourg), Fox (Australia, USA), Sky (New Zealand) and Star Asia internationally.

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