Preview: Wigan v Salford (Fri)

Wigan will be looking to go one step closer to their first Wembley final for 11 years when they take on Salford tonight.

The Warriors haven’t won a major trophy since 2002, and will go in to the match against the City Reds as favourites at the JJB Stadium.

Winger Pat Richards said: “All the supporters and everyone associated with the club have been telling me what they achieved here. It was a pretty special time for the club and I know just how much the Challenge Cup means to everybody here.

“Getting the chance to play at Wembley would be unreal. It’s one of the best stadiums in the world and it looks unbelievable when you see it on television.

“Running out there would be something that you’d always remember and it’d be a great story to tell the grandkids. I haven’t been to the ground but I’ve driven past it and seen that enormous arch. It looks sensational.”

Salford were the club that ended Wigan’s eight-year winning streak in the Challenge Cup back in 1996, and captain Malcolm Alker is hoping they can send the Warriors crashing once again.

Alker said: “I remember that day pretty well. Andy Gregory was coach and I was part of the squad but I didn’t play on the day.

“We went in as massive underdogs but we believed that we could do it. It was a brilliant day and one that the club will always remember. Hopefully we can repeat that this weekend and get another famous win. It’s just a matter of turning up and performing on the day.”

Salford pulled off a surprise 22-18 win at Hull in Round Four, and strolled past Batley 66-4 to reach the quarter finals.

Wigan battled past Championship side Barrow 32-20 at Craven Park in Round Four and then saw off Wakefield 28-17 in the televised clash in the last round.

Wigan (from): Roberts, Carmont, Richards, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Paleaaesina, Hock, Bailey, O’Loughlin, J. Tomkins, Coley, Hansen, McIlorum, Prescott, Pryce, Phelps, Gleeson, S. Tomkins.

Salford (from): Wilshere, Henry, Talau, Turner, Stapleton, Smith, Myler, Cashmere, Alker, Jewitt, Sibbit, Parker, Swain, Paul, Littler, Leuluai, Adamson, Ratchford, Thornley.

Friday, JJB Stadium, 8pm

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