All four 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter finals will be televised live on consecutive days for the first time in the tournament’s history this week, with Sky Sports screening the first two ties before BBC Sport takes over the coverage at the weekend.
The first quarter final is a repeat of the 1937 final as surprise package Widnes, currently in the top half of the Super League table with a game in hand on their immediate rivals Huddersfield and Warrington, host Keighley.
With Keighley currently sixth in the second-tier Kingstone Press Championship table, anything other than a home win will constitute an enormous shock.
Friday night’s match sees high flying Leigh, currently top of the Championship, visit Headingley to face a Leeds side currently second in the Super League table.
The match takes place amid controversy surrounding Leeds’s England international Zak Hardaker, who is under invesigation by the Rugby Football League for an alleged homophobic insult aimed at referee James Child in last Friday’s 24-6 defeat away to Warrington.
With or without the full-back, Leeds will be expected to secure passage to the semi finals for the fourth time in five years.
Saturday’s match is much more in the balance as Wigan host Castleford for the first of two meetings at the DW Stadium in seven days; they face the West Yorkshire side in a Super League clash the following Friday night.
Wigan, who beat Hull FC in the final at Wembley in 2013, are chasing a record 20th Challenge Cup title.
They faced part-time opponents Dewsbury and Hunslet in the previous two rounds so Castleford, who have already beaten the Warriors in the Super League this season, will provide the sternest test of their title defence so far.
The Warriors will be without prolific winger Josh Charnley, who continues to recover from a knee injury and may be loaned to Championship outfit Workington Town, with whom Wigan have a dual-registration arrangement.
Castleford are currently two points above Super League champions Wigan in the Super League, although the title holders have a game in hand.
Wigan have had three more days to prepare having lost 31-22 at Huddersfield last Thursday, whereas Castleford played on Sunday and secured a resounding 54-12 win at home to Hull Kingston Rovers.
Coverage is on BBC One from 2.00pm, presented by Mark Chapman, followed by the popular Red Button forum after the final whistle.
The final fixture between Bradford and Warrington will be shown on BBC Two on Sunday afternoon from 3.00pm.
Bradford, four times Super League champions, have fallen on hard times and have not won a trophy since the 2006 World Club Challenge.
The Challenge Cup has provided a welcome distraction for the Bulls, whose financial difficulties saw them receive a points deduction earlier this season in the Super League.
Having been docked six points for going into administration, their home win over Wakefield Trinity at the weekend could prove vital as they strive to avoid relegation.
Warrington, on the other hand, have won three of the last five Challenge Cup finals and, despite being away from home, will start as strong favourites after Friday’s strong showing against Leeds.
The match at Odsal will be followed by the draw for the semi finals, which will take place over the weekend of August 9-10.
For more information on the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, visit the official website.
Thursday 5th June WIDNES VIKINGS v KEIGHLEY COUGARS Kick-off: 20:00 LIVE: 7.55pm-10.00pm Sky Sports 1 Friday 6th June LEEDS RHINOS v LEIGH CENTURIONS Kick-off: 20:00 LIVE: 7.55pm-10.00pm Sky Sports 3 Saturday 7th June WIGAN WARRIORS v CASTLEFORD TIGERS Kick-off: 14:30 LIVE: 2.00pm-4.30pm BBC One Sunday 8th June BRADFORD BULLS v WARRINGTON WOLVES Kick-off: 15:30 LIVE: 3.00pm-5.30pm BBC Two