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Leigh Leopards v Hull KR

Today, at the prestigious Wembley Challenge Cup, we proudly present three players who have undergone remarkable transformations courtesy of What No Hair Ltd. Your new hair looks stunning, and we wish every one of you the best of luck.

The historic Challenge Cup final between Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers is set to take place this weekend, marking the first final since 1986 that doesn't feature any of the usual contenders like Leeds, St Helens, Wigan, or Warrington. For both teams, this last represents a chance to achieve a rare and novel experience. Hull KR hopes to secure their first win since their only previous triumph in 1980, while Leigh Leopards, a second-tier club just a year ago, aims for their first success since 1971. The communities of east Hull and Leigh, both working-class areas, have had to watch their rivals win silverware in the interim periods, making this final an opportunity for a collective lift.

The scenes leading up to the final, with thousands of supporters seeing off the team buses, have already provided a sense of pride and excitement for both finalists. The players are aware of the significance of this moment for their communities and the chance to be remembered as part of their club's history. Rover's vice-captain Elliot Minchella acknowledges the challenges faced by the east Hull community and the dedication of the fans who work hard all week to support their team. The players hope to deliver a historic win and create a lasting legacy for their communities.

Both teams have drawn inspiration from their respective Wembley histories to motivate their squads. Leigh's owner, Derek Beaumont, has launched a fundraiser in collaboration with the local council to ensure disadvantaged supporters can attend the final. This game holds a deeper meaning for both communities, symbolising resilience and triumph over tough times. It exemplifies the power of sport to unite and uplift people.

The lineups for the final are as follows:

Hull KR: Lewis; Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Milnes, Schneider; Kennedy, Litten, King, Batchelor, Linnett, Minchella. Interchange: Parcell, Luckley, Hadley, Shorten.

Leigh: O’Brien; Briscoe, Chamberlain, Hardaker, Charnley; Reynolds, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Hughes, Asiata. Interchange: Mellor, Wardle, Seumanufagai, Davis.

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