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First 2 rounds of 2021 Challenge Cup drawn

League One side West Wales Raiders will host the 7 times winners Widnes Vikings in the opening round of the 2021 Challenge Cup.

Elsewhere, Bradford Bulls will take on fellow Championship side Featherstone when the competition gets under way in March.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, just 13 Championship teams and three League One teams will contest the early stages.

French side Toulouse opted not to participate in this season's competition, which begins on 20th March, while Super League clubs will enter at the third round stage on the weekend of 10th and 11th April.

Both the first and second rounds of the competition were drawn live on the BBC on Thursday, with former St Helens and England forward Jon Wilkin conducting the draw on his own due to Covid restric­tions.

The other League One sides, Keighley Cougars and Barrow Raiders, were drawn against London Broncos and Oldham respec­tively.

Meanwhile, Whitehaven will take on Dewsbury, Swinton face newly-promoted Newcastle Thunder, Halifax meet former winners Batley while York travel to Sheffield.

Should West Wales progress past the first round stage of the competition, they will take on the winner of Whitehaven's tie against Dewsbury.

Betfred Challenge Cup First Round ties (To be played on the weekend of 20 and 21 March)

·         London Broncos v Keighley Cougars

·         Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams

·         Oldham v Barrow Raiders

·         West Wales Raiders v Widnes Vikings

·         Swinton Lions v Newcastle Thunder

·         Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs (original winners)

·         Sheffield Eagles v York City Knights

·         Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls

Betfred Challenge Cup Second Round ties (To be played on the weekend of 27 and 28 March)

·         Swinton/­Newcastle v Oldham/­Barrow

·         Feat­her­stone/­Bradford v Halifax/­Batley

·         London/­Keighley v Sheffield/­York City

·         West Wales/Widnes v Whitehaven/­Dewsbury

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