Challenge Cup final preview

Wigan go into the showpiece clash at near-full strength, as Darrell Goulding and Captain Sean O’Loughlin return from injury.

Centre Goulding and loose forward O’Loughlin missed last weekend’s defeat to Catalan in France but have been declared fit to line up on Saturday.

Hull FC head coach Peter Gentle has recalled Mark O’Meley, Richard Horne and Ben Crooks to his 19-man squad for the final.

With the trio all returning from injury, there is no place for Joe Arundel, Paul Johnson or Josh Bowden.

It’s heartbreak for Arundel, who is set for surgery after suffering a hand injury against Salford in Hull’s last Super League fixture.

The Black and Whites are still without Shannon McDonnell, Ben Galea and Tom Lineham because of injury.

Wigan 19-man squad: Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hansen, Hughes, McIlorum, Mossop, O’Loughlin, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, L. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Tuson.

Hull 19-man squad: Briscoe, Crookes, Crooks, Ellis, Green, Heremaia, Horne,  Holdsworth, Houghton, Lynch, Miller, O’Meley, Pitts, Shaul, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.

Stats:

Hull and Wigan meet for the first time at Wembley since the classic 1985 decider, when the Warriors triumphed 28-24 – watched by the highest attendance at the stadium for a Challenge Cup Final (99,801).

Saturday’s game will be the third time the clubs have met in a Wembley Challenge Cup Final, having also contested the 1959 decider – which Wigan won 30-13.

The Warriors make their record-extending 30th Cup Final appearance (the club has won the Challenge Cup a record number of 18 times), whilst Hull make their 15th trip to the Final.

The Black and Whites have won only three of their previous fourteen appearances in the showpiece event – and have famously never picked up the trophy at Wembley. Their previous final wins came at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium (2005, v Leeds), Leeds’s Elland Road (1982, v Widnes – after a replay) and Halifax’s Thrum Hall (1914, v Wakefield).

Both clubs make their second appearance at the new Wembley Stadium, with Wigan having previously won a record 16 of 23 finals at the venue – including a record eight wins in a row in successive years (1988-1995).

Warriors coach Shaun Wane has one Challenge Cup Final appearance to his name – as a substitute in Wigan’s 32-12 defeat of Halifax at the old Wembley Stadium on 30 April, 1988. Wane was also assistant to head coach Michael Maguire the last time the Warriors lifted the trophy – in 2011 against Leeds.

Wigan’s Josh Charnley needs one try to become the first Super League player to reach 40 touchdowns in a summer era season.

Charnley is currently level with Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos) and Lesley Vainikolo (Bradford Bulls), who both scored 39 tries in all competitions in the 2004 campaign.

The last players to score more than 40 tries in a top-flight season were Martin Offiah (Wigan, 53) and Ellery Hanley (Leeds, 41) in the 1994-95 campaign – which was the last ‘full’ winter season.

Previous three Challenge Cup meetings between the sides:

2002 (Round 4) Wigan 34 Hull FC 10

2000 (Quarter Final) Hull FC 14 Wigan 4

1994 (Round 5) Hull FC 21 Wigan 22

Wigan – Previous three Challenge Cup finals:

2011 Won (v Leeds, 28-18) (at Wembley Stadium)

2004 Lost (v St Helens, 32-16) (at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

2002 Won (v St Helens, 21-12) (at Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

Hull FC – Previous three Challenge Cup finals:

2008 Lost (v St Helens, 28-16) (at Wembley Stadium)

2005 Won (v Leeds, 25-24) (at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

1985 Lost (v Wigan, 28-24) (at Wembley Stadium)

2013 Challenge Cup leading scorers:

Tries:

1 Sam Tomkins (Wigan) 10

2 Josh Charnley (Wigan) 9

3 Menzie Yere (Sheffield Eagles) 7

4 = Pat Richards (Wigan) 6, Quentin Laulu-Togagae (Sheffield Eagles) 6

Goals:

1 Pat Richards (Wigan) 34

2 Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves) 24

3 Dominic Brambani (Sheffield Eagles) 23

4 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 16

(6 players tied on 12)

Points:

1 Pat Richards (Wigan) 92

2 Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves) 56

3 Dominic Brambani (Sheffield Eagles) 46

4 = Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 40, Sam Tomkins (Wigan) 40

Routes to the final:

Hull FC:

ROUND 4 (21/4/13)

Hull FC 62 North Wales Crusaders 6

Tries: Horne 2, Westerman, Crooks, Yeaman 3, Lineham, Cunningham, Shaul 3; Goals: Westerman 2, Crooks, Heremaia 4

ROUND 5 (10/5/13)

Hull FC 24 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 6        

Tries: Horne, Ellis, Yeaman, Pitts 2; Goals: Holdsworth 2

QUARTER FINAL (13/7/13)

Catalan Dragons 13 Hull FC 24

Tries: McDonnell 2, Lineham, T Briscoe; Goals: Westerman, Tickle 3

SEMI-FINAL (28/7/13)

Hull FC 16 Warrington Wolves 12     

Tries: Lineham, Whiting, Heremaia; Goals: Tickle 2

(at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield)

Wigan:

ROUND 4 (19/4/13)

Wigan 60 Leigh Centurions 10        

Tries: Charnley 3, Richards 3, S Tomkins 4, Williams; Goals: Richards 8

ROUND 5 (12/5/13)

Hull Kingston Rovers 14 Wigan 46

Tries: S Tomkins 4, Richards, Charnley, Thornley, Farrell; Goals: Richards 7

QUARTER FINAL (15/7/13)

Wigan 48 Widnes Vikings 4

Tries: Charnley 3, S Tomkins, Smith, Farrell, Hampshire, Green; Goals: Richards 8

SEMI-FINAL (27/7/13)

London Broncos 0 Wigan 70           

Tries: Goulding, Mossop, S Tomkins, Green, Richards 2, Charnley 2, Taylor, Smith, Farrell, Thornley; Goals: Richards 11

(at Leigh Sports Village)

Betting:

(Odds from William Hill)

Match betting:

Wigan 1/3

Draw 25/1

Hull FC 5/2

Lance Todd Trophy betting:

Sam Tomkins – 7/2

Matty Smith – 8/1

Sean O’Loughlin – 8/1

Daniel Holdsworth – 9/1

Blake Green – 14/1

Danny Houghton – 14/1

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