The 2022 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final will be played at Elland Road, the home of Leeds United FC, on Saturday May 7.
For the third time in succession the Women’s Challenge Cup Final will be part of a Rugby League triple header also featuring the semi-finals of the Men’s Betfred Challenge Cup – after triumphs for Leeds Rhinos against Castleford Tigers at the University of Bolton Stadium in 2019, and for St Helens against York City Knights at Leigh Sports Village earlier this year.
And with Elland Road boasting a capacity of almost 38,000, the RFL has set a target of smashing the current record for a domestic Women’s Rugby League fixture – 4,235 set at the 2021 Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final at Headingley in October.
Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The growing profile of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League has been a huge success story for the game in recent years, and taking the 2022 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final to Elland Road represents another significant step forward.
“Elland Road is a Premier League football stadium with a strong history of staging big Rugby League occasions, including one famous men’s Challenge Cup Final replay between Hull FC and Widnes in 1982.
“Now the Betfred Challenge Cup triple header will fall firmly into that category. The Women’s Challenge Cup Final is proving increasingly popular both with Rugby League supporters and with our broadcast partners and TV viewers, as we saw when the Women’s Final was shown live on BBC2 for the first time earlier this year.
“We are confident that more supporters than ever will want to be at Elland Road to watch the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final in 2022, and it will be a fitting stage for the brilliant athletes who are driving the development of Women’s Rugby League.
“With Elland Road also staging a Men’s Semi Final in the Rugby League World Cup next autumn, there’s so much to look forward to in 2022.”
The Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Round 1 Draw was completed on Tuesday morning at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium, the venue for this year’s final in May.
Hosted by the BBC’s Tanya Arnold, Leeds legend Jermaine Beckford and Leeds-born Women’s Football star Gemma Bonner were on hand to complete the draw. The draw will be contested in a Champions League-style format across March and April, with the top two from each Group progressing to the Quarter Finals, the respective Group winners guaranteed a home tie.
The 16 teams taking part were drawn into four different groups as follows:
- St Helens
- Warrington Wolves
- Barrow Raiders
- The Army
- Leeds Rhinos
- Huddersfield Giants
- Leigh Miners Rangers
- Hull FC
- York City Knights
- Wigan Warriors
- Bradford Bulls
- Widnes Vikings
- Castleford Tigers
- Featherstone Rovers
- Wakefield Trinity
- Oulton Raiders
Group matches to be played on the weekends of March 12-13, March 26-27 and April 2-3.