Challenge Cup

Last updated

Challenge Cup
Current season or competition:
Rugby football current event.svg 2022 Challenge Cup
Rugby league challenge cups.jpg
The women's, men's, and wheelchair Challenge Cup trophies
Sport Rugby league
Instituted1896;126 years ago (1896)
Inaugural season 1896–97
Flag of England.svg England
Flag of France.svg France
Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland
Flag of Scotland.svg Scotland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Wales
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Russia.svg Russia [lower-alpha 2]
Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia [lower-alpha 3]
Winners Wigancolours.svg Wigan (20th title) (2022)
Most titles Wigancolours.svg Wigan (20 titles)
Website Challenge Cup
Broadcast partner Flag of the United Kingdom.svg BBC
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Premier Sports
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Fox League
Related competition Super League
League 1
National Conference League

The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League, [3] held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940, due to World War I and World War II respectively. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs.


The final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley Stadium, London, is one of the most prestigious matches in world rugby league [4] and is broadcast around the world. "Abide with Me", sung before the game, has become a rugby league anthem.

The current holders of the Challenge Cup are Wigan, beating Huddersfield, 16–14 in the 2022 Final on 28 May 2022 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, winning the competition for the twentieth time.

Wigan are the most successful club in the history of the competition, winning the Cup a record 20 times.


The first ever Challenge Cup Final, 1897: Batley vs. St Helens Challenge cup 1897.jpg
The first ever Challenge Cup Final, 1897: Batley vs. St Helens

The clubs that formed the Northern Union had long been playing in local knock-out cup competitions under the auspices of the Rugby Football Union. The rugby union authorities refused to sanction a nationwide tournament, however, fearing that this would inevitably lead to professionalism. After the schism of 1895, the northern clubs were free to go ahead, and they started the Northern Rugby Football Union Challenge Cup. In 1896 Fattorini's of Bradford were commissioned to manufacture the Challenge Cup at a cost of just £60. Fattorini's also supplied three-guineas winners' medals then valued at thirty shillings (£1.50).

The first competition was held during the 1896–97 season (the second season of the new game), and 52 clubs entered to compete for the trophy. The first final was held at Headingley in Leeds, on 24 April 1897. Batley defeated St. Helens 10–3 [5] in front of a crowd of 13,492 (see picture). The St Helens side did not play in a standardised team jersey.

The competition was later interrupted by the Great War, although it was held in 1915, when the season that had begun before the war was completed. It was then suspended until the end of hostilities. Initially, the final tie was held at one of the larger club grounds in the north, however, noting the excitement in Huddersfield that the town's football team were playing at Wembley in the FA Cup Final and the increasing difficulty for any of the rugby league grounds to satisfy spectator demand to see the final tie, the rugby league authorities voted 13–10 to move to the recently built Wembley Stadium in London, aiming to emulate the FA Cup's success and to put the game on the national stage. [6]

The first final held at Wembley was in 1929 when Wigan beat Dewsbury 13–2 in front of a crowd of 41,500. At the start of the Second World War, rugby league suspended its season immediately, but the Challenge Cup took a single year's break before restarting, on a limited basis and with the support of the authorities, as part of keeping up morale. The Challenge Cup finals, which took place in the game's Northern heartland, got big crowds as the game raised money for prisoners of war and for Lord Beaverbrook's armaments programme.

In 1946, the Lance Todd Trophy was introduced and awarded to the man of the match. The first winner was Billy Stott of Wakefield Trinity while the first winner of the trophy on the losing team was Frank Whitcombe of Bradford Northern in 1948. In itself, it is a prestigious trophy presented only at the Challenge Cup Final. The winner is selected by the members of the Rugby League Writers' Association present at the game and the trophy was presented at a celebratory dinner at the Willows, the home of Salford.

The post World War Two Final crowds almost immediately reached capacity at Wembley – which amounted to multiple 90,000 plus crowds.

1954 saw the Challenge Cup final drawn and the replay set the record for a rugby league match attendance. The match was on 5 May and 102,569 was the official attendance at Odsal Stadium, although it is believed that up to 120,000 spectators were present to see Warrington defeat Halifax 8–4.

The first final that was played under limited tackle rules (Originally 4, later changed to 6) Was the 1967 final between Barrow and Featherstone Rovers.

Wigan became well known for their successes in the Challenge Cup competition, winning every Challenge Cup Final from 1988 to 1995.

Until the 1993–94 season there were very few amateur clubs included in the cup, typically two. For part of the 1980s, and the 1992–93 season the cup was solely for professional clubs. The competition was then opened up to large numbers of amateur clubs as part of a deal between the Rugby Football League and British Amateur Rugby League Association over bridging the gap between the professional and amateur leagues.

In 1997, a Challenge Cup Plate[ clarification needed ] took place for teams knocked out in the early rounds of the competition. The final took place at Wembley and was won by Hull Kingston Rovers who beat Hunslet 60–14.

The first final that featured use of the Video Referee, for try decisions, was the 1999 final between Leeds Rhinos and London Broncos, which saw the Broncos beaten by a record margin of 52–16 in a Challenge Cup Final. [4]

The 1999 Challenge Cup Final was also the last to be played at the old Wembley Stadium before the construction of the new Wembley Stadium began in 2003. During this time a variety of venues were used to hold the Final including Twickenham, Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium. The Challenge Cup Final moved back into the new Wembley Stadium for the 2007 Final.

There was a belief that the Challenge Cup final taking place early in the season had led to a decline in the prestige of the cup, [7] so the timing of the competition was altered in 2005

Wembley Stadium before the 2011 Challenge Cup Final Wembley Stadium (49789469466).jpg
Wembley Stadium before the 2011 Challenge Cup Final

On 26 August 2006 St. Helens scrum-half Sean Long became the first player in the history of the Challenge Cup to collect a third Lance Todd trophy following his man-of-the-match performance in the final against Huddersfield. His other Lance Todd trophy wins came in the 2001 and 2004 Challenge Cup Finals.

On 25 August 2018, Catalans Dragons became the first non-English team to win the Challenge Cup as they defeated Warrington Wolves 20–14 at Wembley.


The modern Challenge Cup has eight rounds prior to the final. Teams are seeded, entering at different stages. The precise format has altered slightly from year to year, however the current format is as follows:


Since 2007 the final has been held at Wembley Stadium England mai 2007 040.jpg
Since 2007 the final has been held at Wembley Stadium

During the first round right through to the quarter finals the cup is hosted at the stadium of the team who has been drawn at home. The semi finals are hosted at neutral venues so there is no advantage for the home team. In the event of a draw in the final a replay will be played at a neutral venue somewhere else. The final is played at Wembley traditionally and was first played there in 1928–29 season. Before, the final had been held in different neutral venues, including Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester, Wigan, Salford and Rochdale. The first Challenge Cup final was held at Headingley, Leeds between Batley and St. Helens in front of a crowd of 13,492.


NRFU Challenge Cup first presented 1896-97 NRFU Challenge Cup.jpg
NRFU Challenge Cup first presented 189697

The Challenge Cup trophy was designed by silversmiths Fattorini & Sons of Bradford in 1897. [6] The trophy stands 36 inches high, manufactured of solid silver and sits on a black ebony base approximately 8 inches deep.

Tony Collins, the Rugby Football League's archivist, stated in 2007 that, "Fattorini's weren't given any particular commission, just told to come up with something prestigious". [6] The trophy cost £60. [6] The average wage in 1897 was around £2 per week which suggests an equivalent 2007 price of £16,000, although Collins says, "if you wanted something made of silver and with that level of craftsmanship these days, it would be far more expensive. In terms of its subsequent value, the RFL got a bargain." [6]

The trophy currently presented to the winners after the final is not the original which had to be withdrawn due to its delicate condition. [6] As well as the silver wearing thin, it had lost its fluted top and the players on each of the handles had been damaged. [6] The original Fattorini trophy was last presented at the 2001 Challenge Cup Final to St Helens captain Chris Joynt after his team had beaten Bradford. [10] The original trophy is now stored at the RFL's headquarters at Red Hall and only used for promotional appearances. [6]

The trophy used today was created by Jack Spencer (goldsmith) of Sheffield in 800 man-hours and is an almost exact replica of the Fattorini piece. [6] [10] One improvement made with the new version is that the small shields displaying each winning team and captain are now the same size, whereas they had been getting smaller as space ran out on the original. [6] The new trophy's neck has been strengthened. [10] The second trophy was first presented to Wigan, winners of the 2002 Challenge Cup Final. [10]

The winners of the cup in looking after the trophy must "follow a certain code of practice," says Collins. [6] When not in a secure cabinet, the trophy must always be in the presence of someone. [6] When the trophy is taken out overnight, somebody must sleep in the same room and if taken in a car there must be two people in attendance. [6] Collins reveals that, "When it went down to France for some Catalans publicity photos, it even had its own seat on the plane." [6]


The Lance Todd Trophy, named in memory of Lance Todd, is awarded to the man-of-the-match in the Challenge Cup Final. [11] The winner is decided each year by those members of the Rugby League Writers' Association present at the match. [11]

The Trophy was first presented in 1946 to William "Billy" Stott of Wakefield Trinity. [11] [12]


Challenge Cup logo during the Powergen sponsorship era Challnge Cup logo.jpg
Challenge Cup logo during the Powergen sponsorship era
Challenge Cup logo during the Carnegie sponsorship era 2009 Challenge Cup logo.jpg
Challenge Cup logo during the Carnegie sponsorship era

The Challenge Cup has been sponsored since 1980, with the sponsor being able to determine the cup's sponsorship name. There have been eight sponsors with Betfred being the current sponsors. [13]

The official rugby ball supplier is Steeden. [14]

1979–1985 State Express State Express Challenge Cup
1985–2001 Silk Cut Silk Cut Challenge Cup
2002–2003 Kellogg's Nutrigrain Kellogg's Nutrigrain Challenge Cup
2004–2007 Powergen Powergen Challenge Cup
2008–2012 Leeds Met Carnegie Carnegie Challenge Cup
2013–2014 Tetley's Tetley's Challenge Cup
2015–2018 Ladbrokes Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
2019–2020 Coral Coral Challenge Cup
2021 Betfred Betfred Challenge Cup

Notable events in finals

The most tries scored in a final was 5 scored by Tom Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos v Hull KR in 2015), who also holds the record for most tries in total from one player (7 for Leeds, 2014 – 1, 2015 – 5, 2020 – 1) one ahead of Kevin Iro (6 for Wigan, 1988 – 2, 1989 – 2, 1990 – 2).

The first hat trick of tries in a final was scored by Robbie Paul for Bradford Bulls v St Helens in 1996. Three years later, Leroy Rivett scored 4 for Leeds Rhinos against London Broncos in 1999. Some players previously missed out on becoming the first to score a hat trick due to tries being disallowed, such as Martin Offiah (Wigan v Castleford in 1992), Tony Iro (Wigan v Halifax in 1988) & Kevin Iro (Wigan v Warrington in 1990).

Graham Rees scored the quickest Challenge Cup Final try after just 35 seconds for St Helens against Leeds in 1972.

The most famous final was the 1968 'Watersplash' game between Leeds and Wakefield Trinity. Due to a heavy thunderstorm both before and during the match, the pitch became totally waterlogged. In the final minute, with Leeds 11 – 7 in front, Wakefield winger Ken Hurst scored under the posts, and Don Fox (Who had already won the Lance Todd Trophy that day) had a match winning conversion to take in injury time. But due to the saturated pitch, he miskicked the ball, sending it wide of the posts. Despite a successful career for both club and country, Fox has always been remembered for that one infamous moment.

The first player to be sent off in a final was Syd Hynes, for Leeds against Leigh in 1971, for headbutting Alex Murphy. Hynes has always protested his innocence over the incident. Richard Eyres of Widnes was shown a red card for an off the ball elbow on Martin Offiah of Wigan in the 1993 final, and was banned for 6 games as a result. [15]

Challenge Cup Finals

In total, 26 different clubs have won the Challenge Cup and 30 different teams have appeared in the final. Wigan Warriors hold the record for most wins with 20 and have appeared in 33 finals. In 2007, Catalans Dragons became the first non English team to reach the final but lost to St. Helens.

1896–97 Batley colours.svg Batley 10–3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1897–98 Batley colours.svg Batley 7–0 Bradford F.C.
1898–99 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 19–9 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
1899–1900 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 16–8 Redscolours.svg Salford
1900–01 Batley colours.svg Batley 6–0 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1901–02 Broughton Rangers 25–0 Redscolours.svg Salford
1902–03 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 7–0 Redscolours.svg Salford
1903–04 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 8–3 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1904–05 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 6–0 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1905–06 Bradford F.C. 5–0 Redscolours.svg Salford
1906–07 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 17–3 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
1907–08 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 14–0 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1908–09 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 17–0 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1909–10 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 7–7 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
Replay Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 26–12 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1910–11 Broughton Rangers 4–0 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1911–12 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 8–5 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
1912–13 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 9–5 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1913–14 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 6–0 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
1914–15 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 37–3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1919–20 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 21–10 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1920–21 Leigh colours.svg Leigh 13–0 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1921–22 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets 10–9 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1922–23 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 28–3 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1923–24 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 21–4 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
1924–25 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 16–3 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1925–26 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 9–3 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
1926–27 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 26–7 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
1927–28 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 5–3 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1928–29 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 13–2 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury
1929–30 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 10–3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1930–31 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 22–8 Balmain colours.svg York
1931–32 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 11–8 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
1932–33 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 21–17 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1933–34 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 11–5 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1934–35 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 11–8 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield
1935–36 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 18–2 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1936–37 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 18–5 Cougscolours.svg Keighley
1937–38 Redscolours.svg Salford 7–4 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
1938–39 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 20–3 Redscolours.svg Salford
1940–41 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 19–2 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1941–42 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 15–10 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1942–43 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 16–15 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1943–44 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern 8–3 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1944–45 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 13–9 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
1945–46 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 13–12 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1946–47 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern 8–4 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1947–48 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 8–3 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
1948–49 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern 12–0 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1949–50 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 19–0 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1950–51 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 10–0 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
1951–52 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 18–10 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers
1952–53 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 15–10 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1953–54 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 4–4 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
Replay Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 8–4 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1954–55 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow 21–12 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town
1955–56 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 13–2 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1956–57 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 9–7 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
1957–58 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 13–9 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town
1958–59 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 30–13 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1959–60 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 38–5 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1960–61 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 12–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1961–62 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 12–6 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield
1962–63 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 25–10 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1963–64 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 13–5 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1964–65 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 20–16 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
1965–66 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 21–2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1966–67 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 17–12 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
1967–68 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 11–10 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
1968–69 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 11–6 Redscolours.svg Salford
1969–70 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 7–2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1970–71 Leigh colours.svg Leigh 24–7 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1971–72 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 16–13 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1972–73 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 33–14 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
1973–74 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 24 –9 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers
1974–75 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 14–7 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1975–76 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 20–5 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1976–77 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 16–7 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1977–78 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 14–12 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1978–79 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 12–3 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
1979–80 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 10–5 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1980–81 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 18–9 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1981–82 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 14–14 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
Replay Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 18–9 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1982–83 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 14–12 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1983–84 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 19–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1984–85 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 28–24 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
1985–86 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 15–14 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1986–87 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 19–18 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1987–88 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 32–12 Faxcolours.svg Halifax
1988–89 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 27–0 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1989–90 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 36–14 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1990–91 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 13–8 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1991–92 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 28–12 Castleford colours.svg Castleford
1992–93 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 20–14 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1993–94 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 26–16 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1994–95 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 30–10 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1996 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 40–32 Bullscolours.svg Bradford
1997 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 32–22 Bullscolours.svg Bradford
1998 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 17–8 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1999 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 52–16 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos
2000 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 24–18 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2001 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 13–6 Bullscolours.svg Bradford
2002 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 21–12 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
2003 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 22–20 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2004 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 32–16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
2005 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 25–24 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2006 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 42–12 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield
2007 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 30–8 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons
2008 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 28–16 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
2009 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 25–16 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield
2010 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 30–6 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2011 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 28–18 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2012 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 35–18 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
2013 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 16–0 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C.
2014 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 23–10 Castleford colours.svg Castleford
2015 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 50–0 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
2016 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 12–10 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
2017 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 18–14 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
2018 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 20–14 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
2019 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 18–4 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
2020 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 17–16 Redscolours.svg Salford
2021 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 26–12 Castleford colours.svg Castleford
2022 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 16–14 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield


Clubs ordered by number of wins, then by number of runners-up appearances, then by how recently they last won a final, then finally by how recently they last made a runners-up appearance. Only the aggregate winner/loser for the years during the Second World War has been counted.

ClubWinsLast winRunners-upLast final lostTotal finals
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 20202213201733
2 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 14202012201226
3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 13202110201923
4 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 10201910201820
5 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 719846199313
6 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 619535202211
7 Hullcolours.svg Hull 5201712201317
8 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 519877198812
9 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 520036200111
10 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield 51963319798
11 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 41986220216
12 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 31927419267
13 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 31983219745
13 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 31928219325
15 Batley colours.svg Batley 3190103
16 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet §21934219654
17 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 21943119293
18 Leigh colours.svg Leigh 2197102
18 Broughton Rangers 2191102
20 Redscolours.svg Salford 11938720208
21 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 11980620157
22 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow 11955419675
23 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 11952219583
24 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons ±12018120072
24 Bradford F.C. §11906118982
26 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 1199801
26 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets 1192201
28 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 0119991
28 Cougscolours.svg Keighley 0119371
28 Balmain colours.svg York §0119311

The Double

In Rugby League, the term 'the Double' is referring to the achievement of a club that wins the Super League (Rugby Football League Championship First Division before 1996) and Challenge Cup in the same season. To date, this has been achieved by ten different clubs.

ClubWinsWinning Years
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 71989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2013
2 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 41965–66, 1996, 2006, 2021
3 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 21912–13, 1914–15
4 Barrowcolours.svg Broughton Rangers 11901–02
5 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 11902–03
6 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 11907–08
7 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 11927–28
8 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 11953–54
9 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 12003
10 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 12015

The Treble

The Treble refers to the team who wins all three domestic honours on offer during the season; Grand Final, League Leaders' Shield and Challenge Cup. To date seven teams have won the treble, only Bradford, St. Helens and Leeds have won the treble in the Super League era.

ClubWinsWinning years
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 31991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95
2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 21912–13, 1914–15
3 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 21965–66, 2006
4 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 11907–08
5 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 11927–28
6 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 12003
7 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 12015

The Quadruple

The Quadruple refers to winning the Super League, League Leaders' Shield, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge in one season.

ClubWinsWinning years
1 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 12003–04
2 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 12006–07
3 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 11994–95

All Four Cups

Winning all Four Cups referred to winning the RFL First Division Championship, Challenge Cup, County League and County Cup in one season.

ClubWinsWinning years
1 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 11907–08
2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 11914–15
3 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 11927–28


The BBC first covered the final of this competition when Wigan beat Bradford Northern in 1948. At that time though the only TV transmitter was in London, so fans up North never got to see it. It was another four years before another final was covered when Workington Town beat Featherstone Rovers in 1952. The cup final was not broadcast on TV again until the 1958 final between Wigan and Workington Town since when it has been shown every year. The inception of Grandstand also saw coverage of earlier rounds start to be shown during the 1960s with ITV's World of Sport even showing games as well for a short period.

The BBC has been the predominant broadcaster, showing every final live since 1958 (except the 1982 Final Replay shown as highlights). Eddie Waring was the first commentator for BBC coverage. When he retired, commentary was covered by Ray French and he continues to work for the BBC albeit in semi-retirement, with his last Challenge Cup Final in 2008. From 2009, the present day main commentator is Dave Woods. He usually commentates with Brian Noble, Jonathan Davies, Iestyn Harris or Ian Millward. Nowadays, the BBC continues to broadcast the tournament with Clare Balding hosting from 2006 to 2012 until her move to Channel 4 Racing. Mark Chapman was secondary host in 2012 when Balding was unavailable for the cup and international matches, and previous hosts for the BBC are John Inverdale and Steve Rider. The current main hosts (2018) are Mark Chapman and Super League Show presenter Tanya Arnold.

From 2016–2020, Sky Sports held the rights for the early rounds with one match each round and two quarter finals; whilst BBC Sport showed two sixth round matches, two quarter finals, both semi-finals and the final.

From 2022 onwards, Premier Sports will begin to broadcast games from the fourth round up to the quarter finals alongside BBC.

1958–2011 BBC Sport
2012–2016 BBC Sport (2 R6 matches, 2 Quarter finals, 2 Semi finals and Final only)
Sky Sports (1 R5 match, 1 R6 match, and 2 Quarter finals only)
2017–2020 BBC Sport
2022–2024 BBC Sport (2 R6 matches, 2 Quarter finals, 2 Semi finals and Final only)
Premier Sports (1 R4 match, 1 R5 match, 1 R6 match, and 2 Quarter finals only)


Country/ RegionBroadcaster
Flag of France.svg  France beIn Sports
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Sky Sport
Māori Television
Flag of the United States.svg  United States Fox Soccer Plus
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil BandSports
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia NTV+
Balkans Sportklub
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Fox League
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See also


  1. Canadian team Toronto Wolfpack played in the Challenge Cup in 2017 and 2018, whist a part of the British league system from 2017 to 2020.
  2. Russian teams participated in the cup in 2003 and 2004, the first clubs being Strela Kazan and Lokomotiv Moscow. [1]
  3. The Serbian team Red Star Belgrade competed in the 2019 Challenge cup as a one-off with intent of joining the British league system from 2020. However a poor cup performance would ultimately prevent this. [2]

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