Early Betfred Challenge Cup Draws Made: Dublin City Exiles Return After 21 Years

The draws took place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday evening
18:46, 12 Jan 2023

The men’s first and second round draws and the women’s group stage draw for the Betfred Challenge Cup were made on Thursday evening at Wembley Stadium.

The iconic London stadium will play host for the first time in Challenge Cup history, both the men’s and women’s finals. The men’s winners in 2022 were Wigan Warriors who claimed their 20th title while St Helens were the winners in the women’s competition in what was the 10th edition of the tournament.

For the men’s first round draw, Dublin City Exiles are making their first appearance back in the Challenge Cup for 21 years but the wait still goes on for an Irish side to register a win in its history. They will face a trip to London for their first taste of Challenge Cup action in over two decades to take on Southern Conference League side Hammersmith Hills Hoists.


There were also four teams who were involved in the draw for the very first time in the competition’s 127-year history. Brentwood Eels, Doncaster Toll Bar and Westgate Common are all set to make their Challenge Cup bow next month  in the first round and they have been drawn against Bedford Tigers, RAF and Crosfields respectively. Betfred League One side Cornwall will make their debut in the second round draw after being formed 12 months ago and they face a trip to amateur side Rochdale Mayfield.

One of the more interesting draws for the second round included an all-Betfred League One clash between Doncaster and Oldham. As for the women’s draw, holder St Helens were placed into a competitive group three with Warrington Wolves, Castleford Tigers and London Broncos.

Men’s first round draw:

Fryston Warriors v Thornhill Trojans

Featherstone Lions v Great Britain Police

Skirlaugh v Wests Warriors

Hull Dockers v Rhonda Outlaws

London Chargers v North Herts Crusaders

Doncaster Toll Bar v RAF 

Hammersmith Hills Hoists v Dublin City Exiles

Brentwood Eels v Bedford Tigers

Stanningley v Milford 

Royal Navy v Barrow Island

West Bowling v Waterhead

Westgate Common v Crosfields 

British Army v Ashton Bears

Edinburgh Eagles v Saddleworth Rangers 

Wigan St Patricks v Ince Rose Bridge

Distington v Orrell St James

Heworth v Oulton Raiders

Jarrow Vikings v Myton Warriors

Men’s second round draw:

Jarrow Vikings/Myton Warriors v Leigh Miners Rangers

Skirlaugh/Wests Warriors v London Chargers/North Herts Crusaders

Hull Dockers/Rhonda Outlaws v Midlands Hurricanes

British Army/Ashton Bears v Dewsbury Rams

Fryston Warriors/Thornhill Trojans v Stanningley/Milford

Workington Town v Wigan St Patricks/Ince Rose Bridge

Rochdale Hornets v London Skolars

Distington/Orrell St James v Hammersmith Hills Hoists/ Dublin City Exiles

Cornwall v Rochdale Mayfield

Hunslet v Heworth/Oulton Raiders

Siddal v West Hull

Brentwood Eels/Bedford Tigers v Wath Brow Hornets

North Wales Crusaders v Royal Navy/Barrow Island

Doncaster Toll Bar/RAF v York Acorn

Lock Lane v West Bowling/Waterhead

Featherstone Lions/Great Britain Police v Westgate Common/Crosfields

Hunslet ARLFC v Pilkington Recs

Doncaster v Oldham

Edinburgh Eagles/Saddleworth Rangers v Thatto Heath Crusaders

Women’s group stage draw:

Group 1

Featherstone Giants

Salford Red Devils

Cardiff Demons

Wigan Warriors

Group 2

Huddersfield Giants

Bradford Bulls

Oulton Raidettes

Leeds Rhinos

Group 3

Warrington Wolves

Castleford Tigers

London Broncos

St Helens

Group 4

Barrow Raiders

Leigh Leopards

Hull KR

York Valkyrie

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