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BBC to show 2 1st round challenge cup matches

BBC iPlayer and BBC sport digitial platforms will show the  Challenge Cup first-round ties West Wales Raiders v Widnes Vikings and Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bull live.

For all four teams the games mark a return to action after more than a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ties are scheduled for Sunday, 21 March.

The ongoing implications of the pandemic have forced changes to the structure of the 2021 Challenge Cup because amateur clubs were not able to enter the tournament for the early rounds.

Instead, the 13 English clubs from the Championship - including Bradford, Featherstone and Widnes - have been joined by West Wales and two other clubs from League One.

The 12 Super League clubs will join the competition at the third-round stage in April, which will be followed by quarter-finals in May, the semi-finals on 5 June, and the final at Wembley on Saturday, 17 July - with the BBC showing two third-round fixtures, two quarter-finals, the semi-final and final.

Last year's final saw Leeds Rhinos beat Salford Red Devils 17-16 at Wembley thanks to a late drop-goal from Luke Gale.

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