Cup fever is in the air and our 2023 journey begins with the visit of Huddersfield Giants.
Our four-game winning streak was ended by St Helens last week, but all Betfred Super League plans are put on halt whilst the Challenge Cup rolls into town.
It’s only been three years since we last reached the final of this particular competition. In front of an eerie, empty Wembley Stadium, Leeds Rhinos edged a dramatic contest 17-16.
The first test for Paul Rowley’s side is Ian Watson’s Giants, who were the victors when we last met earlier this season. Although, in a cup competition, form goes out the window and a real battle is expected to book a spot in the quarter-final.
Here’s everything you need to know before we take on the Giants:
Paul Rowley named a 19-man squad for today’s clash.
The two big omissions are Andy Ackers and Shane Wright. The former – as everyone may be aware – suffered a suspected broken ankle against St Helens last Saturday and will be missing for an extended period of time.
Ackers also failed a HIA late into the contest and concussion protocols dictate that he will miss this one.
However, one huge positive from last week was the return of Alex Gerrard. The prop has been struggling with a reoccurring injury, but a solid stint against the world champions has put him back in contention.
Ahead of this one, Assistant Coach, Krisnan Inu was on media duties and spoke in the press for the first time since rejoining the club in late-2022.
It may be a new role, but Inu believes a teaching position was always on his horizon. When asked why he decided to hang up the boots and join the coaching staff, he said: “Bit of both. As a kid, if I wasn’t a footy player, I told my wife I’d be a teacher, so coaching is a bit of both really.
“It sort of caught me by surprise at first. I still had a few clubs looking to continue me on my journey; and then Rowls hit me up and offered me the role, so I took it with both hands!”
Click HERE to watch the press conference in full!
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