The Championship clubs will face each other next month with a place at Wembley up for grabs
Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings, the two teams to have been relegated from the Super League in the last two seasons, will square off in a heavyweight semi final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup on Sunday July 28 – with the carrot of a Wembley appearance the following month.
The Centurions will have home advantage at the Leigh Sports Village as the old rivals clash for the third time this season, with honours currently even after Widnes claimed a comfortable victory in the Betfred Championship on Good Friday, before Leigh bounced back in the Summer Bash in Blackpool last month.
The other semi final, which will also be played on July 28, is a clash between South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, as Sheffield Eagles – the last team outside the current Super League to have played at Wembley, with their famous Challenge Cup triumph against Wigan in 1998 – have been drawn at home to Batley Bulldogs.
Batley were the first winners of the Challenge Cup in 1897, and lifted the trophy twice more in the next four years – but that was well before the final was first played at Wembley in 1929, meaning the club are within one win of a first ever appearance at the stadium.
The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup has been introduced this season to guarantee that two non-Super League clubs will reach Wembley on Coral Challenge Cup Final Day on August 24.
AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, Semi Finals (both to be played on Sunday July 28): Sheffield Eagles v Batley Bulldogs; Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings.
Kick-off times and Our League coverage to be confirmed.