Coral Women’s Challenge Cup – a brand new trophy for Rugby League

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/ 22/07/2019 Rugby League Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final and Women's Coral Challenge Cup Final Previews. University of Bolton Stadium Warrington, Leeds, Hull FC, Castleford, St. Helens , Halifax Georgia Roche , Courtney Hill

Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos will contest the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday (27 July) and the winners will lift a brand new trophy – the first that the RFL has commissioned specifically for the women’s game.

Standing 54.6cm (21½ inches) high, the silver trophy has been created by the renowned Birmingham-based silversmiths Fattorini and Sons. Originally established in Yorkshire by Italian immigrants in the early 19th century, Fattorini & Sons has been making high-quality sports trophies since the 1920s, including the FA Cup and the Rugby League Challenge Cup. The design of the women’s trophy itself adopts elements of the traditional men’s version, such as its fluted top and adorning angel (please see attachments), within a more contemporary overall design.

Simon Johnson, who was this week appointed Interim Chair of the Rugby Football League, said:
“It is right and fitting that the growth in the women’s game should be reflected by a magnificent new trophy such as this one. We have a fantastic final to look forward to on Saturday and either Castleford Tigers or Leeds Rhinos will be the first to get their hands on what is a strikingly beautiful piece of silverware.”

Joining Simon Johnson as part of the official presentation party for the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final are: RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer; Rugby League Hall of Fame member and former England international Natalie Gilmour MBE, who captained her country in two world cups; Jade Clarke, the most-capped England netball player of all time and a medal winner at the recent Vitality Netball World Cup; and Adrian Osman, Head of Sponsorship and Events, Coral.

Fattorini and Sons’ connection with Rugby League goes beyond making both Challenge Cup trophies. Tony Fattorini represented Bradford’s Manningham club when it broke away from Rugby Union in 1895 to become part of the Northern Union – later to become known as the Rugby Football League. Manningham became the fledgling game’s first champions in 1896.

The base of the new trophy bears the names of the previous Women’s Challenge Cup winners: Featherstone Rovers (2012); Thatto Heath Crusaders (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016); Bradford Bulls (2017) and Leeds Rhinos (2018).

Saturday’s game is a repeat of the 2018 final, won 20-14 by Leeds, and will be broadcast live via the BBC’s interactive Red Button service and on BBC Sport Online from 11.15am.