Proud cockney Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook won’t have to travel far from his roots if Harlequins reach Wembley this season.
The Harlequins forward was brought up in Lewisham and is one of the biggest individual success stories since Rugby League was introduced to the capital.
But McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 24, accepts that Quins are going to have to pull off a major upset to stay on the Wembley trail because they host cup kings St Helens in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie at Twickenham Stoop.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook said: “I’ve never watched a Rugby League match at either the old or new Wembley.
“I’ve been to Wembley twice to watch a Man Utd v Arsenal Charity Shield match years ago and then an Oasis concert more recently.
“I was brought up on the Isle of Dogs and am a lifelong Millwall fan and would have been at Wembley last year to see the play-off final against Scunthorpe but was playing for Quins that day.
“It’s every player’s dream to reach Wembley and it would be extra special for me being a Londoner.”
Quins have not had much cup luck since McCarthy-Scarsbrook burst on the scene after being introduced to the sport as a schoolboy.
“We had a supply teacher from the north who suggested I go to open trials with London Broncos with Rob and Mike Worrincy when I was 15.
“We all enjoyed it and joined the Broncos Academy,” said McCarthy-Scarsbrook who made such progress he toured Australia with Barla Under-18s in 2004.
It was not long before the 6ft 3ins, 17 stones forward was handed his Quins debut but his Challenge Cup hopes have been dashed by Leeds twice, Wigan and Huddersfield in the last four seasons.
“We have never been past the quarter finals since I have been at the club,” said McCarthy-Scarsbrook, “and the luck of the draw hasn’t been too kind again giving us Saints!
“But we are building in momentum after getting a few injured players back.
“We had some bad losses this season before following up our cup win over Wakefield with a great victory at Wigan.
“Saints will be a really tough test and I rate James Graham and James Roby as two of the best forwards around. Graham’s go-forward is sensational and he’s a relentless worker and Roby is awesome – he’s a machine.
“Then they have Kyle Eastmond running off them so we know how difficult is to going to be.
“But we won’t need any motivating with Wembley the big prize to target.”