Challenge Cup final 2022 to be staged at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May: RFL confirm Wembley return in two years' time

Next season’s Betfred Challenge Cup final will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May, before the event returns to Wembley in 2023.

The RFL today (Thursday) also announced a two-year extension to Betfred’s partnership with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair Challenge Cups.

Wembley is unavailable for the 2022 men’s final, which will take place on Saturday, May 28.

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It will be the 121st Challenge Cup final, marking the 125th anniversary of the first in 1897.

Castleford Tigers and St Helens walk out at Wembley for the 2021 Challenge Cup final. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Cup finals were moved from April/May to later in the season 16 years ago and have since been staged mainly in August.

Last year’s final was put back to October because of the pandemic and this season’s was held in July.

Dates and venues for the 2022 Betfred Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cup finals will be confirmed later this year.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “We have an excellent partnership with Wembley which has been invaluable as we have worked together through the pandemic to stage the last two finals.

The Challenge Cup at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Picture by SWpix.com.

“For 2022 we were unable to find a space in the schedule that worked for both the RFL’s and BBC’s desire to play the final earlier in the year.

“We are sure rugby league supporters and players will be excited by the prospect of experiencing the Betfred Challenge Cup final at a new venue in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022, with a return to the event’s spiritual home at Wembley in 2023.”

Rimmer confirmed: “At this stage, we are planning for community clubs to return to the early rounds of the men’s competition, which was not possible in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That will restore a dimension of the competition which we really missed this year, and I know Betfred are relishing that prospect, as well as the finals at Tottenham and Wembley.”

Rimmer described the extended deal with Betfred as “fantastic”.

He said: “We were thrilled when Betfred extended their significant involvement in rugby league to include the Challenge Cups in 2021.

“It came at a time of considerable uncertainty for all sport and has been crucial in allowing us to enjoy three memorable Betfred Challenge Cup campaigns, with all they mean to rugby league communities - with St Helens victorious both in the women’s competition in June and again at Wembley last month when they beat Castleford in a compelling final and a superb occasion.

“We still have the first Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup to look forward to this weekend, and now we know that Fred [Done of Betfred] and his team will continue to elevate our Challenge Cups, to celebrate their great history and the sport of rugby league.”

Done said: “Following on from this year’s terrific final I am delighted to be extending our Challenge Cup sponsorship for a further two years.

“We’re excited about having the 2022 Final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before returning to Wembley in 2023 – and I’m especially pleased that we’re again including the women’s and wheelchair competitions in our unique sponsorship and that the Community clubs and teams from all around the country will hopefully be back in the Challenge Cup in 2022.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy added: “We are delighted to bring yet another major sporting event to our stadium.

“The Challenge Cup final is a game that is steeped in history and we are proud to now be a part of that, while further establishing our stadium as a leading sports and entertainment destination in London.”

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