Why is the Rugby League Challenge Cup final kicking-off at 3.07pm today?

Why is the Rugby League Challenge Cup final kicking-off at 3.07pm today?

Today’s Rugby League Challenge Cup final between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will have a slightly unusual kick-off time.

It is set to be a scintillating showdown at Wembley as the two teams meet for this time in the final since 1990.

The rivalry goes back as far as 1904, with both teams tasting glory in recent years. The Warriors lifted the trophy at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2022, while the Wolves won it in 2019.

They have both looked formidable en route to the final, Wigan being the current Super League and World Champions while Warriors look to have fresh optimism under head coach Sam Burgess.

Likely to be quite the spectacle at Wembley, the match will kick-off at 3.07pm BST rather than its usual 3pm slot.

Why is the Challenge Cup kicking off at 3.07pm today?

The match will start seven minutes later to pay tribute to the late former England player Rob Burrow, the Rugby Football League (RFL) said on Wednesday.

Burrow, who played for Leeds between 2001-2017 winning eight Super League titles, passed away on Sunday aged 41 after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019.

The former scrum-half also won two Challenge Cup trophies and three World Club Challenges at Leeds, while he also represented England from 2004-13 and Great Britain in 2005-07.

A minute's silence will be held and Burrow's number seven shirt will be reflected before the deciding match at Wembley between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves, as well as the preceding women's final between Leeds and St Helens.

Rugby League legend Rob Burrow passed away aged 41 (PA)
Rugby League legend Rob Burrow passed away aged 41 (PA)

A minute's applause is also expected after seven minutes of play in both finals, while fans will be able to leave their tributes at the Rugby League Statue from 0945 on Saturday morning, the RFL added.

"Once the shock and sadness of Sunday night’s news had sunk in, we recognised the responsibility to provide a fitting celebration of a Rugby League superhero," Rhodri Jones, managing director of RFL Commercial, said.

"Challenge Cup Final day has a great tradition of the Rugby League family coming together this year, for reasons none would have chosen, we will be united in grief, but also in paying suitable tribute to a player who has transcended the sport.”