Challenge Cup preview: London v Wigan (Sat)

There is contrasting team news between Wigan and London ahead of their Challenge Cup semi-final at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday (5pm).

Warriors head coach Shaun Wane has welcomed back Sam Tomkins, Harrison Hansen and captain Sean O’Loughlin, who all missed the Super League defeat at St Helens on Monday.

Elsewhere for Wigan Scott Taylor, who had no case to answer to despite being put on report during Monday’s game, is also named in the squad but Anthony Gelling misses out after picking up a foot injury at Langtree Park.

The Broncos meanwhile have confirmed that both Michael Witt and Tony Clubb will miss the game through injury after they failed fitness tests. Australian Witt and captain Clubb will be sorely missed, and coach Tony Rea says everything was done in attempts to ensure their availablity.

He said, “They’ve done everything scientifically and we’ve thrown the kitchen sink at trying to get them ready but it hasn’t happened.”

London do include on loan Wigan player Rhodri Lloyd in their 19, who played for the Broncos in their quarter-final win at Sheffield, as well as former Warriors Chris Melling and Liam Colbon.

London 19-man squad: Bryant, Colbon, Cook, Dorn, Fairbank, Fisher, Kaufusi, Krasniqi, Lee, Lloyd, McMeeken, Melling, O’Callaghan, Robertson, Rodney, Sarginson, Soward, Woodburn-Hall, Wheeldon.

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.

Prediction: Although it is a one-off cup match the Super League table does not lie. Wigan win.

Stats:

Wigan are appearing in a record 45th Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday. They have won 30 and lost 14 of their previous games at the last four stage. The Warriors have never lost to the capital side in the Challenge Cup, having won both previous fixtures between the clubs in the competition.

London Broncos are making only their third appearance at the last four stage, having won one (1999, v Castleford) and lost one (1998, v Wigan) of their previous semi-final fixtures.

Wigan have won their last seven meetings with London Broncos/Harlequins, with the capital side’s last win against the Warriors coming 38-26 at the DW Stadium on 23 April, 2010.

Previous Challenge Cup meetings:

2007 (Quarter Final) Wigan 25 Harlequins 6

1998 (Semi-Final) London Broncos 8 Wigan 38

(at McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield)

2013 meetings:

London Broncos 6 Wigan 64 (SLR15, 18/5/13)

Wigan 48 London Broncos 18 (SLR4, 24/2/13)

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