1895 Cup final man of the match will receive Ray French award

The second THE AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final between Featherstone Rovers and York City Knights at Wembley on Saturday July 17, will be shown live by the BBC on the red button and iPlayer.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:18 pm
Ray French
Ray French

Unlike in 2019, when Sheffield Eagles’ victory over Widnes Vikings to lift the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup followed the Challenge Cup Final between Warrington Wolves and St Helens, the 2021 Final will kick off the action at Wembley on Betfred Challenge Cup Final Day.

The BBC’s coverage will begin before the noon kick-off, and will then transfer to BBC One at 2pm for their live and exclusive coverage of the Betfred Challenge Cup Final between Castleford Tigers and St Helens.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s chief commercial officer, said: “The BBC are an integral part of Rugby League’s Wembley weekend, and we are delighted that they will again be covering the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final.

“It promises to be a great game, allowing the players and supporters of two proud Yorkshire clubs to experience the unique Wembley atmosphere and create a real carnival flavour to Challenge Cup Final Day – and we’re sure many of the supporters of Castleford, St Helens and the thousands of neutrals who always come to Wembley will be keen to join the Featherstone and York fans for the match. They may even adopt one of the 1895 Cup finalists for the day!

“The BBC’s coverage on red button and iPlayer has been a feature of the Challenge Cup in recent years, with pioneering coverage of early-rounds matches involving community clubs, and this year they have already extended that to include the semi-finals of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup, and the Wheelchair Rugby League international between England and Wales - with coverage of the Betfred Wheelchair Challenge Cup Final to follow in August.”

Featherstone will be making their first Wembley appearance since their famous victory over Hull FC in the 1983 Challenge Cup Final, while York have gone 90 years since their sole appearance when they were beaten in the 1931 Final by Halifax.

The player of the match in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will receive the Ray French Award, in honour of the iconic St Helens-born former BBC commentator, and dual code international.

One other significant difference between the finals is that whereas golden point extra-time will be played if the Betfred Challenge Cup Final is drawn at the end of normal time, in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final the tight turnaround time between the two matches means extra time is not available - so the trophy would be shared.

As in 2019, there will be no video referee for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final, with match officials appointments to be confirmed early next week.