AN extra dimension has been added to Pilkington Recs’ meeting with Wallsend Eagles in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round.

The tie will take place at Kingston Park, home of Kingstone Press League One side Newcastle Thunder.

And the clash on the third-generation synthetic surface will be a curtain-raiser to the friendly between Thunder and 2017 Super League Grand Finalists Castleford Tigers.

This latest Pilks Challenge Cup contest, which kicks off at 2.30pm on Saturday, January 27, continues the amateur club’s eye-catching recent and long-standing history with the prestigious competition.

Last year Pilks’ second-round battle with the then National Conference Premier Division champions Siddal was streamed live by the BBC.

The year before Recs toppled part-time professionals London Skolars in the third round to earn a date with Championship team Halifax in the next round at Langtree Park.

Now all eyes will be on whether Pilks can overcome a tricky looking test at the 10,200-capacity venue that is also home to Aviva Premiership rugby union outfit Newcastle Falcons.

For this will be Wallsend Eagles’ first appearance in the Challenge Cup and, judging by reports of excitement levels in the north east, this could almost be their ‘Wembley final’.

Wallsend, who were founded in 1989 and usually play their home games at the Benfield Centre For Sporting Excellence, won the North East Rugby League title last year which got them into the hat for the first round of the Challenge Cup in 2018.

Pilks can thank St Helens, Great Britain and England rugby league legend Paul Wellens for the journey north as it was he who pulled their number out of the hat when the draw was made last month.

He also sorted an away trip for Thatto Heath Crusaders, the National Conference League champions, who will face Saddleworth Rangers the same weekend.

Meabwhile, tickets for the 2018 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 25, are now on sale.

Club Wembley seats can be booked before Tuesday, January 9, for £40 instead of the full £55 price.

Visit for more information and to book.