The 2020 Challenge Cup final has been postponed, though the Rugby Football League (RFL) hopes the game will be played this year.

Wembley Stadium was due to host the fixture on July 18 but, with the season still suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, that will no longer be possible.

The Challenge Cup had reached the sixth round before the rugby league campaign was halted in March.

However, the RFL said in a statement: "The intention remains for the finals to be played later in the year – contingent on the public health situation and government advice."

Warrington Wolves are the holders of the famous trophy, recording an 18-4 triumph over St Helens last year.

The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final – a competition for Championship and League One teams – was due to be staged on the same day at Wembley, with that fixture also called off.

European rugby organisers are holding discussions over a revised structure for the 2020-21 season, while also outlining plans to complete the current campaign.

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup schedules had to be halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no imminent return to action on the cards.

However, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is making "every effort" to make sure the knockout stages do eventually take place, subject to working within health guidelines and under consideration for the welfare of players.

A statement from the governing body revealed the hope is for the 2020 finals to take place on October 16 and 17.

As for next season, a possible change to the Champions Cup could see the competition grow from 20 to 24 teams, meaning eight each from the Pro14, English Premiership and Top 14 competitions.

Fixtures would be held over eight weekends instead of nine, though a new format will only apply on an "exceptional basis", according to a statement from EPCR.

"Ongoing discussions with EPCR's league and union shareholders regarding new formats have included the possibility of a 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of Europe's leading league competitions, played over eight weekends", the statement read.

"If adopted, any new format would apply to next season's tournament only on an exceptional basis.

"In the meantime, EPCR remains committed to making every effort to conclude the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season subject to official advice and with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community in mind.

"It is hoped that the 2020 finals could be staged on 16 and 17 October."

This season's Top 14 season was abandoned after the French government ruled there would be no sporting events staged until the beginning of September.

The Stade Velodrome in Marseille was due to host both European club rugby finals in May.

With coronavirus spreading across the globe, sports events, tournaments and leagues have been postponed or cancelled en masse. 

On Friday, the Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 followed the example of LaLiga and Serie A by suspending fixtures, while golf's Masters tournament in the United States was also postponed.

The Giro d'Italia is awaiting a new date, while the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons have all been put on hold.

Planned Six Nations fixtures have also been postponed, including Saturday's clash between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff, while England's tour of Sri Lanka and South Africa's tour of India have been scrapped.

However, despite the upheaval, some events are still set to take place.


While most of the major leagues across the globe have been suspended, some are carrying on, though often with mitigating circumstances such as playing behind closed doors.

In Argentina, both the Superliga and Primera A competitions are scheduled to continue, while matches in Australia's A-League are also set to take place. Liga MX remains, and the Russian Premier League is likewise going ahead.


Though Leeds Rhinos' meeting with Catalans Dragons has been postponed, the rest of the Super League fixtures this weekend will be played, as will the Challenge Cup matches, with fans allowed to attend.

In Australia, the first round of NRL fixtures will take place, though the second round will be held behind closed doors, based upon government advice.


The Indian Premier League start date has been pushed back two weeks until mid-April, but the Pakistan Super League has been given the all clear to continue – although a number of players have pulled out, leaving a reduced schedule.

Four matches this weekend precede a pair of semi-finals next week.

There are question marks over Sunday's behind-closed-doors ODI between New Zealand and Australia in Sydney, however, as Black Caps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson is in isolation after complaining of a sore throat.


Wales-Scotland, scheduled for Saturday, was the last of the three planned Six Nations games for this weekend to fall through. The Pro14 and all French rugby union fixtures have also been halted, and Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale Sharks and Harlequins belatedly joined the mass cull of fixtures.

There are six Super Rugby matches to look forward to across the course of the weekend, however, despite the Australian government advising against non-essential gatherings.

Meanwhile, the RFU Championship fixture list has also been largely unaffected, the weekend's action starting with Newcastle Falcons' home match against Bedford Blues on Friday.

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