Featherstone’s Joey Leilua is hoping to claim bragging rights as he comes up against some of his mates at Leigh in the 1895 Cup final this Saturday.
Amongst his friends at Leigh will be Samoa international team-mate John Asiata.
Leilua, 30, has won 15 caps for Samoa since his debut in 2013, and also featured at the World Cup Nines in 2019. Saturday’s opponent in Asiata has represented Samoa twice, having also won caps for Tonga.
Ata Hingano will be another familiar name, with the pair both featuring for Canberra Raiders in 2018.
Featherstone face Leigh in the third 1895 Cup final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Saturday. While hoping for bragging rights against his friends, Leuilua also believes it will be dress rehearsal for the Championship Grand Final.
Joey Leilua on 1895 Cup final
“It’s going to be tough,” Leilua told Love Rugby League.
“No disrespect to all the other teams in the Championship, but it’s like a pre-game before the Grand Final. But you never know what’s going to happen in the play-offs leading up to it.
“It’s going to be a good game and I’ve got a few good mates at Leigh. All the imports I know reasonably well and some of them really well. I said to them ‘good luck and no hard feelings’.
“There’s bragging rights for the whole year then. It’ll be good so I can come down to visit them in Manchester with a trophy!
“I’m very excited. I haven’t been to a final since 2019. It feels a bit different, especially in the Championship and the bunch of boys I’ve been playing with. There’s so many good lads in the Featherstone team. It’s very exciting.
“Heaps of people have mentioned that it’s an awesome stadium. It’s hosted NFL too, so it should be good. I’m excited to get down there.”