Good afternoon everybody and welcome to The Sportsman’s coverage of rugby league in 2022! The New Year has only just begun but we already have our first offering for you this afternoon as Rochdale Mayfield host Wigan St Patricks in the first round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.
Our live coverage will begin at 2pm, with kick-off at 2:15pm. Matt Horton will provide the commentary, with expert analysis from Andrew Henderson, the former Scotland hooker who has joined Keighley Cougars as Head of Rugby in 2022 following successful previous coaching stints with London Broncos, Warrington Wolves and as assistant to Tim Sheens with the Combined Nations All-Stars in 2021.
Rochdale Mayfield, who host us at the Mayfield Sports Centre, are eager to go further than their 2020 run in the competition, which saw them impressively reach the third round, bowing out against a strong North Wales Crusaders side just before sport was halted due to Covid.
“It was a blow to miss last year's Challenge Cup,” Senior Committee member, Ian Kershaw tells The Sportsman. “It's widely considered to be the game's premier competition. To be invited back in this season, after a challenging 12 months was a real boost to us. You couldn't ask for a better way to start a season. There is a real buzz around the club and the excitement is palpable.”
Andy Gregory’s St Pats also missed out on last season’s competition but reached round two in 2020. We are all set for a thriller, and you can watch via the link below, or on YouTube.
Rochdale Mayfield line-up: 3 - Niall Bradley, 4 - Lewis Butterworth, 5 - Jack McConachie, 6 - Liam Donnelly, 7 - Cole Connoly, 10 - Shaun Hurley, 12 - Reece Hamlet, 13 - Zachary Hartley, 15 - Nicolas Hargreaves, 16 - Ieuan Higgs, 18 - Liam Whalley, 19 - Travis Holden, 20 - Kelly Jackson
Interchanges: 1- Harry McDonald, 2 - James McDaid, 8 - Simon Moore, 9 - Declan Sheridan,
Wigan St Pats line-up: 1 - Taylor Hyland, 2 - Jack Williams Sproat, 3 - David Williams, 4 - William Meadows, 5 - Harvey Palma Breheny, 19 - Joseph Hingham, 7 - Daniel McGoldrick, 8 - Anthony Hutton, 9 - Daniel Smith, 10 - Jonathon Brown, 11 - Andrew Hingham, 12 - Brad Storey, 13 - Conor Taylor.
Interchanges: 15 - Joseph Prior, 17 - Matthew Ireland, 20 - Jack Swarbrick, 14 - Ben Fisher