Challenge Cup fans in for a five-hour feast of semi-final rugby

For the first time in the Challenge Cup's history, the semi-finals will be staged as a 'five-hour feast of rugby league' at the Macron Stadium, Bolton on Sunday, August 5.

Macron Stadium, Bolton.

All the action will be broadcast live on the BBC at the 30,000-capacity stadium which is no stranger to rugby league having staged three World Club Challenge games and three international Test matches between 1998-2007.

Rugby Football League interim chief executive Ralph Rimmer, said: “The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in sport and the introduction of a semi-finals double header is a fantastic opportunity to showcase two of the biggest games of the year at one event.

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“The Dacia Magic Weekend, Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final and the Betfred Super League Grand Final are all huge events in the sporting calendar and we know that they attract fans who do not regularly attend rugby league games.”

Ralph Rimmer with Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Philip Bernie, head of TV Sport BBC, said: “BBC Sport and the Rugby Football League have been working for some time on this innovative idea and we are delighted the semi-finals of the most famous cup competition in rugby league will be showcased in this way.

“It will be a five-hour feast of rugby league on Sunday, August 5, with that huge prize at stake – a Wembley final.”

The first semi-final will kick-off at 12.30pm with the second game kicking off at 2.45pm.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer.