Wales Rugby League



Bridgend Blue Bulls to enter Challenge Cup

8th December 2015, 12:28

Bridgend Blue Bulls to enter Challenge Cup

Wales Rugby League’s domestic champions Bridgend Blue Bulls will be entering the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup for the first time in 2016.

Wales Rugby League’s domestic champions Bridgend Blue Bulls will be entering the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup for the first time in 2016.


They will join the competition in the first round, the draw of which will take place at Wembley Stadium on Thursday January 7 from 1.00pm.


The Blue Bulls qualified for the competition after beating Aber Valley Wolves 34-30 in a thrilling Welsh Grand Final this August.


Thirty-six sides will go into the famous velvet bag to participate in one of the country’s oldest tournaments and will form the first two rounds of the 2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, which will be played on January 30 – 31 and February 13 – 14.


Nine winning teams progressing from the second round will face teams from Kingstone Press League 1, including North Wales Crusaders and South Wales Scorpions, in the third round (February 27-28).


Wales were denied a fourth side in the 2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup after Valley Cougars were defeated by Nottingham Outlaws in the Conference South Grand Final in September.


Stephen Smith, Bridgend Blue Bulls’ team manager, said: “We are all excited for the draw. As is everyone we are hopeful of a home draw but we will give good account of ourselves where ever we are. It will be a great opportunity for our players and supporters to show that Rugby League is growing in the Bridgend County Borough.”


Five-try hero and Lance Todd Trophy winner Tom Briscoe will return to Wembley Stadium to conduct the first round draw. His record-breaking efforts in the capital last August helped Leeds Rhinos overcome Hull Kingston Rovers 50-0, which was also the biggest winning margin since the competition’s inception in 1897.


Joining the Rhinos winger will be Lizzie Jones, the wife of former Wales international Danny Jones. A professional singer, she sang “Abide With Me” prior to last year’s Challenge Cup final to thank the Rugby League family for their heartfelt support since her husband's tragic death in May.


Teams involved in the competition are all aiming for one thing, the opportunity to play at the UK’s most iconic venue, Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 – 80,140 supporters witnessed the 2015 final which was also broadcast around the globe via BBC Sport.


2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round draw numbers:

  1. Aberdeen Warriors
  2. Bridgend Blue Bulls
  3. Distington
  4. East Leeds
  5. Egremont Rangers
  6. Featherstone Lions
  7. Great Britain Police Rugby League
  8. Hull Dockers
  9. Hull University
  10. Hunslet Club Parkside
  11. Kells
  12. Leigh Miners Rangers
  13. Lock Lane
  14. London Chargers RL
  15. Millom
  16. Normanton Knights
  17. Northumbria University
  18. Nottingham Outlaws
  19. Oulton Raiders
  20. Pilkington Recs
  21. Rochdale Mayfield
  22. Royal Air Force
  23. Royal Navy
  24. Sharlston Rovers
  25. Shaw Cross Sharks
  26. Siddal
  27. Stanningley
  28. Thatto Heath Crusaders
  29. The Army
  30. Thornhill Trojans
  31. Underbank Rangers
  32. Wath Brow Hornets
  33. West Bowling
  34. West Hull
  35. Widnes West Bank
  36. York Acorn


First round ties to be played over the weekend of January 30 - 31.


The early bird ticket offer for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final ends on Thursday December 31 with adult tickets starting from as little as £20 and concessions from £10.


Tickets for the 2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting