By Published On: January 4, 2024

Great news for Rugby League fans at the start of 2024 – The Sportsman, are back on board, to provide live and exclusive coverage of another 20 fixtures across various competitions – starting with the Betfred Challenge Cup First Round tie between Orrell St James and Haresfinch on Sunday January 14.

It will be the third season of The Sportsman’s extensive coverage, which has proved so popular with Rugby League fans since it kicked off in the Covid-affected 2021 campaign.

As in 2022 and 2023, The Sportsman will focus on the Road to Wembley in both the Men’s and Women’s Betfred Challenge Cup competitions.

The diversity and inclusivity of Rugby League will again be celebrated with coverage of the Betfred Wheelchair Super League as well as the Betfred Women’s Super League – with Wigan Warriors and York Valkyrie the respective champions, but Leeds Rhinos leading a wide range of challengers in each competition who will be determined to ensure a change at the top in 2024.

And The Sportsman will again be the best place to see the drama unfold from Betfred League One.

In 2023, the cameras were there for the thrilling Play-Off run of Carl Forster’s North Wales Crusaders, up to and including the decider when it was Richard Horne’s Doncaster who secured promotion to the Betfred Championship.

In 2024, Oldham are the strong favourites to lead the way following the takeover led by cross-code maestro Mike Ford which has led to a return to Boundary Park.

But the Crusaders will be determined to challenge again, Keighley Cougars will be desperate to bounce straight back after their relegation from the Championship last year, Newcastle Thunder have been rescued from the abyss by the passion of their supporters, and historic clubs such as Hunslet, Rochdale Hornets and Workington Town will again do battle with the expansionists of Cornwall and the Midlands.

Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of Rugby League Commercial, said:

“The Sportsman’s coverage has been a popular and valued addition to Rugby League’s broadcast portfolio in recent seasons, and in a year when there will be more matches shown than ever across a range of different platforms, we are delighted they remain a key part of that package.

“Their passion for the sport comes across in every match that they cover, and that is one of the reasons The Sportsman’s coverage has been so popular with Rugby League fans – especially given the platform they provide for competitions such as Betfred League One, the Women’s and Wheelchair Super Leagues, and the early rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup.”

The Sportsman’s 2024 Rugby League coverage kicks off with a Wigan versus St Helens showdown in the First Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup – Orrell St James take on Haresfinch on Sunday January 14, with a 2pm kick-off.

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