Challenge Cup Final Preview – 2 Days To Go

It will be West Yorkshire derby day at Wembley on Saturday as Leeds Rhinos take on Castleford Tigers in the Challenge Cup final.

The Rhinos are bidding for their first Challenge Cup win since 1999, while it has been 28 years since the Tigers last triumphed at Wembley.

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott took the unorthodox step of naming his squad for the final on Monday, selecting the same team that defeated Warrington Wolves in the semi-final a fortnight ago.

After fielding a much changed side on Sunday, Leeds fell to a surprise defeat to already-relegated London Broncos, while a weakened Tigers side suffered a heavy loss at Warrington.

Craig Huby is included in the Castleford squad by head coach Daryl Powell, despite the prop suffering a dislocated elbow in the semi-final defeat of Widnes Vikings two weeks ago.

Free-scoring winger Justin Carney is also included after suspension, meaning James Clare misses out on Saturday’s final.

The two sides played out an enthralling 24 all draw at Headingley in July, a game that saw Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield sent off for head butting Tigers full-back Luke Dorn.

Weller Hauraki lines up for Castleford against his old club, while Tigers coach Powell played in the Rhinos last cup triumph in 1999.

Since that record-breaking 52-16 win over London fifteen years ago, Leeds have reached the final no fewer than six times, but have lost on each occasion.

Castleford’s last cup final appearance in 1992 also ended in defeat, 28-12 to Wigan.

Saturday will see the Challenge Cup return to Yorkshire for the first time since 2005, however, in what looks likely to be a highly entertaining game.

Teams

Castleford Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Hauraki, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Finn, Jewitt, Carvell.

Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Delaney, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan. Subs: Kirke, Bailey, Aiton, Sutcliffe

 

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