Rugby League’s newest competition takes centre stage this weekend as the 1895 Cup starts with the League One sides.
This round sees eight League One teams, before 12 Championship teams enter in Round Two.
After Round Two, its a straight knock out then with the quarter finals and the semi finals to ultimately lead to the final.
The final will take place at Wembley Stadium and raise the curtain for the Mens and Womens Challenge Cup Finals on what will be a bumper day of rugby league.
The action starts on Saturday with an intriguing encounter between Newcastle Thunder and Keighley Cougars. The Cougars have started the season well but lay bottom of the league after a 12 point deduction at the start of the season. Newcastle have recovered from a slow start to be unbeaten in five games.
Then its the turn of an in form Hunslet team as they welcome Workington Town, who are bolstered by the appointment of Chris Thorman as Head Coach until the end of the season.
Hunslet currently lie in second place in League One, with Workington further back in seventh and without an away win since the opening day of the season.
Moving ahead to Sunday, it starts with top of the table Whitehaven travelling to Oldham. The Cumbrian outfit have had a really strong start to the season, and will hope to carry this on into knockout competition.
Perhaps significantly, Whitehaven’s only defeat this season has come against Oldham. The Greater Manchester side have had a bit of a hit and miss season so far, but have had some really good results including wins over Sunday’s opponents and London Skolars.
The weekend will be done with Doncaster hosting West Wales Raiders at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The Raiders have had a diffcult year again after often struggling to field full teams last season. They will be no doubt be hoping for a bit of respite in a knockout competition where anything can happen.
As for Doncaster, they are hoping for a first win in five after a strong start. They just lost out last time against North Wales Crusaders, so could well take that as a benchmark.
Saturday 4th May
Newcastle Thunder vs. Keighley Cougars- Kingston Park 3pm
Hunslet vs. Workington Town- South Leeds Stadium 3pm (Kids go free)
Sunday 5th May
Oldham vs. Whitehaven- Whitebank Stadium 3pm
Doncaster vs. West Wales Raiders- Keepmoat Stadium 3pm