Whitehaven and Workington Town will meet in a cup competition for the first time since 2013 after drawing each other in the opening round of the League One Cup. Both Cumbrian sides suffered relegation from the Championship last season and as a result will compete in this season’s competition.
Reigning champions Keighley Cougars, who beat York City Knights in last year’s final at Bloomfield Road, will start their defence against Doncaster.
York will host North Wales Crusaders, who won the inaugural competition in 2015, in the opening round. Rochdale Mayfield will represent the National Conference League after winning the 2016 Premier League title and they will host Barrow Raiders in the first round.
League One’s newest side Toronto Wolfpack won’t compete in the tournament.
The first round sees the sides split into two pools with pool A containing ‘northern’ sides while pool B features the ‘southern’ sides. The games will be played on the weekend of 18th-19th February.
Here is the draw in full:
- Rochdale Mayfield vs Barrow Raiders
- Hunslet RLFC vs Newcastle Thunder
- Keighley Cougars vs Doncaster RLFC
- Whitehaven vs Workington Town
- York City Knights vs North Wales Crusaders
- Oxford RL vs Coventry Bears
- South Wales Ironmen vs London Skolars
- Hemel Stags vs University of Gloucestershire All Golds