The 2022 Betfred Challenge Cup will feature a tie on White Hart Lane in addition to the first ever Final at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – following draws for the first two rounds conducted at the Stadium by the Spurs legend Michael Dawson and London Broncos’ Tottenham-born wing Iliess Macani.
London Skolars, the Betfred League 1 club who play at the New River Stadium near the old Spurs ground, will join the competition at the Second Round stage and have been drawn at home to the winners of the First Round tie between London Chargers of the Southern Conference League and the Cumbrian community club Ellenborough Rangers.
Other highlights of the draws included Rochdale Hornets, in the year they celebrate the centenary of their only Challenge Cup triumph in 1922, being paired with the League 1 newcomers Midlands Hurricanes.
Hunslet will face Keighley Cougars in another all League 1 tie, while West Wales Raiders will host Swinton Lions.
The 14 First Round ties include a West Yorkshire derby between Featherstone Lions and Hunslet Club Parkside, a tricky trip for the National Conference League champions Thatto Heath Crusaders to the renowned Castleford Cup battlers Lock Lane, and a meeting of two NCL newcomers in 2022 when Bentley face Stanningley.
— Betfred Challenge Cup (@TheChallengeCup) December 14, 2021
Andy Gregory, the former Great Britain half-back and Lance Todd Trophy winner who recently returned as coach of Wigan St Patricks, will renew his fruitful relationship with the Challenge Cup with a trip to Rochdale Mayfield.
Wests Warriors, the second London community club in the First Round draw, have been handed a long trip to the North East to face Jarrow Vikings, while Bridgend Blue Bulls and Edinburgh Eagles will both have home advantage against the Royal Navy and York Acorn respectively.
Galway Tribesmen were also drawn at home to Pilkington Recs but that game will be played at the Ruskin Drive base of the St Helens community club under the terms on which the Tribesmen have entered the competition.
The First Round ties will be played on the weekend of January 15-16, with the Second Round ties two weeks later.
Iliess Macani stepped in to conduct the draw with Dawson after a late decision that it would be an unnecessary risk for the St Helens and England forward Morgan Knowles to travel to London, as he looks forward to his first Christmas as a father.
2022 Betfred Challenge Cup
First Round: West Hull v Upton, Featherstone Lions v Hunslet Club Parkside, Leigh Miners Rangers v Milford, Siddal v Great Britain Police, Lock Lane v Thatto Heath Crusaders, London Chargers v Ellenborough Rangers, Thornhill Trojans v RAF, Jarrow Vikings v Wests Warriors, Galway Tribesmen v Pilkington Recs, Edinburgh Eagles v York Acorn, Rochdale Mayfield v Wigan St Patricks, Bentley v Stanningley, Bridgend Blue Bulls v Royal Navy, Orrell St James v British Navy.
Second Round: Edinburgh Eagles or York Acorn v Jarrow Vikings or Wests Warriors, Rochdale Hornets v Midlands Hurricanes, Doncaster v Thornhill or RAF, Orrell St James or British Army v Bridgend Blue Bulls or Royal Navy, Oldham v Lock Lane or Thatto Heath Crusaders, Galway Tribesmen or Pilkington Recs v Siddal or Great Britain Police, West Hull or Upton v Rochdale Mayfield or Wigan St Patricks, Featherstone Lions or Hunslet Club Parkside v Bentley or Stanningley, Hunslet v Keighley Cougars, Leigh Miners Rangers or Milford v North Wales Crusaders, West Wales Raiders v Swinton Lions, London Skolars v London Chargers or Ellenborough Rangers.