The Army will face the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup holders, St Helens, in a new format for the competition in 2022.
The draw for the four groups of four teams who will compete in the First Round in March and April was made this morning at Elland Road, which was recently confirmed as the venue for the 2022 Final - with the former Leeds United players Gemma Bonner and Jermaine Beckford pulling out the balls, and live coverage on Our League.
Saints were one of the top four seeds, and The Army were one of four teams from outside the Betfred Women's Super League in the draw as a reward for their success in reaching the Grand Final of the inaugural Women’s Super League South in 2021 - which has already earned them further recognition as Team of the Year in the Army Sports Awards.
They will be joined in Group A by Warrington Wolves and Barrow Raiders, one of the two new teams in the BWSL in 2022 - who recently appointed Amanda Wilkinson, a former Super League winner with Wigan Warriors, as their new Head Coach.
Leigh Miners Rangers, the other BWSL newcomers for 2022, have been drawn in Group B against the 2021 runners-up Leeds Rhinos; the BWSL Shield winners Huddersfield Giants; and Hull FC from the Women's Championship.
York City Knights, who have continued to strengthen since reaching their first Women's Challenge Cup against St Helens in 2021, have been drawn against Wigan Warriors and Bradford Bulls from the BWSL, and Widnes Vikings from the Championship in Group C.
Group D will feature six local derbies as Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Trinity from the BWSL have been joined by Oulton Raidettes from the Championship.
The competition will kick off the 2022 Women's Rugby League season on the weekend of March 12-13, with further rounds of matches on the weekends of March 26-27, and April 2-3 - with fixtures to be published in the coming days.
The top two teams from each group will then qualify for the Quarter Finals on the weekend of April 9-10, and there will be a draw for the Semi Finals on the weekend of April 23-24, leaving two weeks to prepare for the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final at Elland Road on Saturday May 7.
Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup 2022
Group A: St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Barrow Raiders, The Army
Group B: Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Leigh Miners Rangers, Hull FC
Group C: York City Knights, Wigan Warriors, Bradford Bulls, Widnes Vikings
Group D: Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity, Oulton Raidettes
Group matches to be played on the weekends of March 12-13, March 26-27 and April 2-3
Quarter Finals – April 9-10
Group A winners v Group B runners-up
Group B winners v Group A runners-up
Group C winners v Group D runners-up
Group D winners v Group C runners-up
To be followed by a draw for the Semi Finals, which will be played on the weekend of April 23-24