by Adam Leah
The first round draw for the newly named 2015 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup took place this afternoon at Wembley Stadium.
Betting firm Ladbrokes announced on Tuesday that it would be replacing Tetley’s as the title sponsor of rugby league’s most prestigious cup competition on a three-year deal.
Forty sides from the lower leagues, as well as representatives of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, comprise the first set of ties to be played in this season’s competition on the weekend January 31- February 1.
National Conference Premier League champions West Hull face a home tie against Thatto Heath with runners-up East Leeds facing Cumbrian side Kells.
The 14 League One clubs join the competition in Round 3, with the 12 Championship sides following in Round 4.
The bottom four teams from last season’s Super League who avoided relegation, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, enter in the fifth round. Super League’s top eight sides from 2014 join the competition in Round 6.
The 2015 final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 29; 120 years to the day that the sport was founded during a meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield.
The full first round draw is as follows:
Loughborough University v Hunslet Warriors
Oulton Raiders v Scarborough Pirates
Normanton Knights v Myton Warriors
Royal Navy v Saddleworth Rangers
East Leeds v Kells
Great Britain Police v Rochdale Mayfield
The Army v Wath Brow Hornets
Egremont Rangers v Wigan St Judes
Nottingham Outlaws v Blackbrook
Widnes West Bank v South West London Chargers
Shaw Cross Sharks v York Acorn
Royal Air Force v Siddal
Valley Cougars v Leicester Storm
Hull Dockers v Leigh Miners Rangers
Elland v Leeds Beckett University
Featherstone Lions v Queens
Lock Lane v Sharlston Rovers
Walney Central v Hunslet Parkside
Skirlaugh v Aberdeen Warriors
West Hull v Thatto Heath
Ties to be played January 31- February 1.
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