Gill tipping Wigan to win a Challenge Cup final classic
Rugby League legend Henderson Gill is tipping his old club Wigan Warriors to taste Tetley’s Challenge Cup glory when they face Hull FC at Wembley on Saturday August 24.
Gill, one of the heroes of Wigan’s victory over Hull in the greatest Challenge Cup final of all in 1985, feels the Warriors are best placed to rise to the occasion in the game’s historic showpiece final.
But the former Great Britain Test winger believes the final will be one of the closest of recent years and would not be surprised if Hull exacted long overdue revenge for their defeat 28 years ago.
“I think Wigan will win by a margin of no more than six or eight points,” said Gill. “They’ve not been in the best of form in the last few weeks but all the signs point to them coming good on the day.
“Some of the Wigan boys have looked tired recently and they have clearly struggled without Sam Tomkins but I’d be amazed if he didn’t play in the final.
“He gives them so much and is a very special player but that’s not to say they’re a one-man team. The person I’ve most been impressed with at Wigan is Josh Charnley, who has developed into a truly great winger.
“I’ve watched him closely since he burst through on to the scene and we’ve had a couple of chats over the last few years, when I’ve given him a few bits of advice.
“He’s smart and a great finisher: everything a great winger should be. I think he’s got to be the favourite to win the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match.”
Gill has genuine sympathy for Hull’s young centre Ben Crooks, who is expected to miss the final with a leg injury. Crooks, the son of Hull FC all-time great Lee Crooks, who played against Gill in the 1985 final, had been in outstanding form until suffering an injury last month.
“Hull are going to miss Ben, he’s emerged as a genuine talent and someone who poses the opposition a threat by making a real impact,” said Gill.
“However Hull have looked the real deal in the last few weeks and I was mightily impressed by their performances in the semi-final against Warrington and the derby win against Hull KR.
“They’re one of the game’s form teams and will go into the final full of confidence, which counts for a lot. You could never rule out a team with as much talent in their ranks as Hull have got but for me it’s going to be Wigan’s day again.”
Tickets for the 2013 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final can be purchased direct via the Hull FC club shop, Wigan Warriors ticket hotline on 0871 6633 552 or through the RFL ticket office direct at www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.