Eastmond inspired by cup legends

Kyle Eastmond has more incentive than most to send Barrow Raiders packing in Saturday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final because he is driven on by two of the greatest Cup legends of all time.

The St Helens scrum-half has taken over the Number 7 shirt made famous by his former team-mate Sean Long, who was the first man to win the Lance Todd Trophy three times.

But if that’s not enough motivation, Eastmond only has to ring up his agent for an uplifting chat – Challenge Cup legend Martin Offiah, the former Wigan winger who is immortalised at Wembley with a bar named after him for his famous length of the field try against Leeds.

The accomplishments of Offiah and Long are things Eastmond can only dream about at the moment – but they are dreams that he is determined to try and emulate.

Kyle Eastmond said: “It is massive wearing the Number 7 shirt because Sean Long is such a great player. He did great things in the really big games and that’s what great players do.

“To pick up the man of the match trophy in a Challenge Cup final three times is just unbelievable.

“As for Martin, well he’s another of the all-times greats. I’ve seen that try he scored against Leeds and I just thought Wow!’ because it was that awesome.

“It would be great to achieve what they have done but I know I’ve still got a lot to learn and must take things step by step.

“To play at Wembley is definitely a dream though. Every kid in every sport grows up dreaming of playing at Wembley.”

Eastmond played in Saints’ defeat to Huddersfield in last year’s semi-final and is determined to go one better this year.

But he is wary of letting his daydreams get ahead of him with giant-killers Barrow lying in wait. The Co-operative Championship title holders knocked out Castleford Tigers in the fourth round and Eastmond knows they will be gunning for another huge scalp.

He added: “They have got some good players and we will be treating this like every other game and giving them the respect they deserve.

“This is a huge game for them and they will want to knock us over, knowing that anything can happen in knockout competitions.”

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