WOOLSTON Rovers will be part of next year's Challenge Cup, the club have confirmed.

The Green and Golds have accepted an invitation from the RFL to participate alongside 51 other teams in the first round.

Rovers will join neighbours Crosfields in the first-round draw, which will take place on Friday, December 14.

Back in 2001, Rovers defeated professional opposition in the Challenge Cup in the shape of Chorley Lynx, which led to a dream tie against Warrington Wolves.

In front of over 6,500 fans, The Wire won 48-6 at Wilderspool Stadium, with Rovers' try coming from scrum-half Steve Martin.

"When the invite was received it took very little time to accept," Rovers public relations officer Dave Whalley said.

"It is the oldest competition in rugby league, and for community clubs like ourselves to get the chance to take part in it is a great honour.

"I spoke to (head coach) Mal Holt immediately and he was made up.

"The lads are very excited at the chance of pitting themselves against some other quality sides.”

The first-round ties will take place on the weekend of January 26 – before Rovers' National Conference League Division Three campaign is due to start.

"As soon as Dave mentioned it I said yes straight away," head coach Mal Holt said.

"The lads have been back in training for three weeks now and it is all going very well.

"We were looking to get some pre-season fixtures in before the NCL season started at the end of February, but now we will have at least one important cup tie to look forward to.

"The boys are buzzing about it and it will help us to up the intensity over the next few weeks to make sure we are ready to give a good account of ourselves.”