Lions coach McCormack braced for tough Siddal challenge

SWINTON boss Steve McCormack believes his side will face the top club outside the professional game when they go into battle against Siddal in Sunday’s third round Challenge Cup tie at Leigh Sports Village (2.0).

Lee Greenwood’s outfit pushed the Lions close before losing 6-10 at the Shay in 2009 - the year they completed a National Conference and National Cup double - and then dumped Championship One Doncaster out with a stunning 26-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium the following season.

“I never class these teams as amateurs and we’ve probably drawn the best club outside the Championship really,” said Lions coach McCormack.

“They will be well coached and are well accustomed to winning things.

“We definitely won’t be taking them lightly.”

McCormack has several injuries to check on before finalising his side.

Danny Meekin (knee), Lee Wingfield (back) and Richie Hawkyard (back) are all doubts, and Kevin Penny has been unable to train this week due to a virus.

The game will be preceded by a minute’s silence to mark the recent death of hugely popular Siddal stalwart Mick Shaw.

The BBC have agreed a new four-year deal with the Rugby Football League to remain as the principal broadcaster for the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

The BBC’s current contract was due to expire at the end of this season and the new deal means the Wembley final will continue to be shown by the corporation until the end of 2016.

The BBC will also continue to broadcast live matches from the fourth round onwards.

RFL chairman Richard Lewis said: “The Challenge Cup has a rich heritage and I am delighted that the competition’s long association with the BBC is to continue.”

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said: “The BBC has been the proud broadcast partner of the Challenge Cup for over half a century so we’re delighted to be continuing our long and successful relationship with the RFL.”