2015 Challenge Cup

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Although the 2015 Challenge Cup is now well under way, the big sides don’t get involved until the first four rounds have taken place, and now is a great time to have a serious look at how the betting market for this tournament is shaping up. Over at betfair.com, the odds for the 2015 Challenge Cup sees Wigan, St Helens and Warrington as the 4/1 co-favourites of three. The Wigan Warriors are the most successful side in the history of the competition, having a total of 19 Challenge Cup wins to their credit. Wigan have actually won two of the last four Challenge Cup renewals, and Shaun Wane’s side have been in fine form in recent times, having finished as runners-up in the Super league last year. They are sure to be a popular choice with rugby punters at the Betfair’s current quote of 4/1. As far as St Helen are concerned, there are a total of 12 Challenge Cups in their trophy cabinet, but Keiron Cunningham’s men have not contested a Challenge Cup final since their victory in 2008. They do enter this year’s tournament as the reigning Super League champions however and may well be able to carry that momentum into the Challenge Cup this season.

The Challenge Cup is run by the Rugby Football League, and sees teams from England, Scotland, Wales, France and Russia do battle for prestigious Fattorini trophy. Having begun life in 1896, the Challenge Cup has seen various numbers of sides take part down the years, and there will be a total of 88 competing in 2015. The final now takes place at Wembley Stadium, and receives a large amount of TV and press coverage, with the event having increased in popularity in recent times. Coming into this year’s tournament as the defending champions, the Leeds Rhinos are going to be full of confidence, and are understandably towards the head of the betting, with 9/2 available over at betfair.com. Currently managed by Brian McDermott, Leeds were impressive during their 23-10 victory over Castleford in last season’s Wembley showpiece and that should give the side plenty of belief over the next few months.

Warrington are the other side who are likely to be involved at the business end of the tournament, and last season’s 5th placed Super League club could well show improved form this year under the guidance of new captain Ben Westwood. The Warrington Wolves won the Challenge Cup three times in four years from 2009, and have taken the trophy a total of eight times during their history. As the fourth most successful team in Challenge Cup history, Warrington are certainly a side that needs to be taken seriously, as their 4/1 quote suggests. At the other end of the spectrum, Workington Town are the rank outsiders for this season’s Challenge Cup, and are on offer at a huge price of 750/1 over at betfair.com. The National League 2 side are going to be very much out of their depth against the best sides in the country, but are unlikely to go down without a fight.

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