From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury - A social calendar for the 21st century
Carnegie Challenge Cup Final
26 August, 2013
Wembley Stadium, London
This dramatic annual encounter sees Europe's best rugby players battling it out for championship status. It is one of the most prestigious fixtures in British sport, combining adrenalin-fuelled excitement with sporting pageantry.
The Challenge Cup Final is the climax of a historic knockout championship, featuring Rugby League teams from across Europe, which dates back to 1896. It encompasses amateur, semi-professional and full-time Super League professionals, though the lower ranked teams rarely make it to the later stages of the seven-round knockout competition.
Since World War II the Challenge Cup has routinely attracted crowds of over 70,000 fans. From 1987-95 the tournament was completely dominated by Wigan, who reigned supreme. The championship has been held at Wembley since 1929 - a move away from the decidedly northern heritage of rugby league.
In 2011 Wigan resisted a stunning fightback by Leeds to claim their first Wembley success for 16 years 28-18 in a thrilling Challenge Cup final.