Workington Town and Whitehaven will get a second bite at the cherry to reach Wembley next season – with the introduction of a new cup competition.

The RFL has looked to breathe new life into the Challenge Cup final date by adding the 1895 Cup to give a bumper new-look programme of three matches.

Full details of the new competition will be announced with the Betfred Championship and League One fixtures on Sunday week, but the clubs have agreed after a meeting last week to introduce the new competition.

Next year’s Challenge Cup Final Day will stick to what has become a regular place on the calendar, the August Bank Holiday Weekend. But in 2020, there will be a move forward to Saturday July 18.

The third game at Wembley will be the Steven Mullaney Memorial Match.

Workington Town chairman, Les Smallwood, has welcomed the new competition.

He said: “This is a fantastic idea and great for us as a club.

“As a Wembley Challenge Cup winner in the past the thought of a sniff at getting back there on Challenge Cup day is an exciting prospect.

“I’d like to congratulate Ralph Rimmer and his colleagues on a great concept that will widen interest outside of the usual clubs that are involved on that special day.”

Ralph Rimmer, RFL chief executive, said: “We believe the introduction of the 1895 Cup will give that relationship another boost.

“It’s a recognition that the game has changed since the onset of full-time professionalism in the Super League era, meaning that for a good number of the Championship and League One clubs who have won the Challenge Cup in the past, reaching Wembley currently seems a distant dream.

“This innovation makes that dream of Wembley much more realistic and achievable.

“We’ve seen in football, with the EFL Trophy that was introduced for teams for the third and fourth tiers of their professional structure as the Associate Members’ Cup in 1983, that the introduction of a realistic additional chance to reach Wembley can have a rejuvenating effect on clubs.

“With the 1895 Cup, we want to recognise the contribution of our non-Super League clubs to the game’s history since its founding as the Northern Union 123 years ago – and provide an exciting new chance for their players and supporters to taste the magic of Wembley.”

All but one of the 12 English Championship clubs have previously won the Challenge Cup and in addition three League One clubs – Hunslet, Oldham and Workington Town – are also former Challenge Cup winners.