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Sharlston await guaranteed pro shot

Sharlston Rovers have once again reached the first round proper of the Carnegie Challenge Cup after a scratchy 20-19 victory over Wigan St Cuthberts at the weekend.

Rovers now await the 3rd round draw which will take place at The Recreation Ground, Whitehaven this evening (Tuesday 13th March). Sharlston and the other 13 second round winners will be joined by the 20 Co-operative Championship clubs alongside French sides Toulouse Olympique and Lezignan.

The amateur entrants will be guaranteed professional opponents with the draw seeded into 2 pools of 18. Two Championships clubs will be drawn at random from the first pool and entered into the second pool which features the community clubs, French teams and the Royal Navy.

A team will be drawn from each pool with home advantage decided by a random draw from a bag featuring two balls marked ‘Home’ and ‘Away’.

The draw will be conducted by former Workington Town scrum-half Sol Roper, who twice played at Wembley for the Cumbrians in the 1950s, and ex-Whitehaven, London and England forward Rob Purdham.

BBC Radio Cumbria will broadcast the draw live from Recreation Ground at 7.25pm and is available online to listeners outside the district here

Rovers head coach Gordy Long on the draw said “Hopefully we’ll get a home draw against one of the big teams or one of the bottom sides so we’ve a chance of winning, but if not get a big crowd with teams like Featherstone, Halifax, Dewsbury one of those local derbys would be good.”

Pool A – Batley, Barrow, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Featherstone, Gateshead, Halifax, Hunslet, Keighley, Leigh, London Skolars, North Wales Crusaders, Oldham, Rochdale, Sheffield, Swinton, South Wales, Whitehaven, Workington, York. (2 pool A sides will be drawn at random to go into Pool B)

Pool B – Bradford Dudley Hill, East Hull, Egremont, Hull Dockers, Hunslet Old Boys, Hunslet Warriors,Lezignan, Myton, Oulton, Royal Navy, Siddal, Sharlston Rovers, Thatto Heath, Toulouse, Wath Brow, York Acorn.