Warriors' big cup-tie at the DW
Wigan are set to play next Saturday's Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final against St Helens at the DW Stadium after all.
The Warriors were faced with having to switch the tie to a neutral venue because of a clash with Wigan Athletic's final home Premier League game 24 hours later.
After two and a half days of negotiations, the cup holders now say the tie, which will be shown live by the BBC, will take place at the DW Stadium but have criticised the Rugby Football League over the saga.
On Thursday, Wigan were instructed by the governing body to play the game at another stadium if the DW Stadium was not available and they sounded out ground availability at Leigh, Bolton and Warrington.
But the Warriors say they warned the RFL back in October that the DW Stadium would not be available next Saturday or Sunday and are angry they were refused permission to play the tie on Friday night.
Wigan also offered to play the match on Monday, May 14, but the BBC were desperate to show the tie of the round.
The impasse was finally broken following more talks between Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan and Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan when it was decided "in these highly exceptional circumstances to attempt to allow the quarter-final tie to be played at the DW Stadium the day prior to the Wigan Athletic game following receipt of a favourable weather forecast".
Wigan say Whelan countered Premier League reservations with assurances that the pitch was in good condition and that special arrangements were in place to ensure it remained so.
Whelan said: "It is scandalous to be put in this position but we cannot see Wigan Warriors playing such a game away from home.
"All Wigan folk, whether primarily rugby or football supporters, come together in wishing to see two such important games shown from the Wigan stadium across the country on successive days next weekend."
Lenagan said: "It is excellent to be able to demonstrate publicly the togetherness and strength of football and rugby in Wigan."
However, Lenagan added: "We feel let down by the RFL that they are prepared to countenance the loss of integrity of their famous Challenge Cup competition by removing home advantage from the holders in a critical and closely competitive quarter-final in order to fit in with preferred television schedules when valid and practical alternative days and times were available.
"We also feel that the RFL scheduling of Challenge Cup rounds has been poor with three rounds in 30 days followed by nine weeks before the semi-finals."
BBC cameras will also be in Perpignan on Sunday, May 13, for Catalan Dragons' home tie against Warrington, while Sky Sports will televise Huddersfield's quarter-final with London Broncos on the same day.
The other tie, between Leigh and Leeds, will be played at Leigh Sports Village next Friday.
The RFL responded to Wigan's criticism by insisting the onus was on the club to provide a solution to the problem and re-iterating the value of having prestigious matches shown by the BBC.
A statement said: "Carnegie Challenge Cup ties on television provide rugby league with valuable and significant exposure to national and international audiences and everyone is aware of the benefits increased visibility and profile bring to the sport.
"The Cup has a long and proud association with the BBC, who televised their first final in 1948, and there is a great tradition of Challenge Cup action live on the BBC on Saturday afternoons, when the biggest matches have always been screened to the biggest audiences.
"The schedule for the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup was circulated last year and all clubs have had ample time to put in place contingencies should a tie in which they are involved be selected for televising.
"It is the draw which decides the make-up of individual rounds, not the RFL, and whilst clubs must trust to fate, they are also aware of their responsibilities with regard to broadcast agreements.
"Whilst the RFL were informed by Wigan Warriors of the potential difficulty they faced as a consequence of their unique tenancy agreement were they to be drawn at home in the quarter-finals, the club were aware that should their tie be selected for broadcast, the onus was on them to find a solution.
"Wigan are to be congratulated on having found a solution which will see their match against St Helens played at the right venue on what will prove to be a compelling weekend of Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final action for all eight teams involved."