Gale looking to blow Leeds away
Luke Gale always looks forward to returning to his Leeds roots but the Harlequins stand-off is hoping to make a villainous rather than heroic homecoming in Friday night’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round tie at Headingley Carnegie Stadium (8.00pm).
The former Rhinos Academy player and lifelong Leeds fan has been in top form in 2011 and is expected to be a key figure behind Harlequins’ Cup ambitions in a match which reunites him with his long-time coach Brian McDermott, who moved North from Quins at the end of last season.
“You look at the fixture list at the start of the season and there are some games you look forward to,” said Gale. “Leeds is a game I personally look forward to and I think the boys do as well.
“Everyone was looking forward to the Leeds tie as soon at it got drawn. It’s one of those games you want to be involved in. We’re hoping for a good performance and we go up there on Friday night with everything to play for.”
The London club will go to Headingley in the knowledge that they have already won there this season during the opening rounds of the Engage Super League campaign, but their form recently has dipped alarmingly.
“We started off all guns blazing and then dropped off,” said Gale.
“I think everyone’s form has dipped a bit and we need to get back on the horse and get things going again but the Challenge Cup is different, you've got one chance and if you get beat you’re out so you do look at it a bit differently.
“Everyone loves the Challenge Cup. The boys seem to really like it and after our win over Gateshead in the last round we said ‘this is the first step of going somewhere in the Challenge Cup’.
“We have spoken together as a team and the cup is something we want to do well in.”
The 22-year-old’s form this season has also seen him earn a place in Steve McNamara’s England Knights squad and he will spend two days in camp with them prior to linking up with Harlequins for their trip to Headingley.
“I definitely look forward to it,” he said. “It’s good, you mingle with different people from other clubs and you’re getting the best training. It’s a good learning curve, you’re getting different ideas and it can only help you.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round tie, Leeds Rhinos v Harlequins, on Friday May 20 cost from £20 adult (£13 concessions) and can be purchased from the stadium ticket office, by calling 0871 423 1315 (calls are charged at 10pence per minute) or online at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets
Tickets for the 2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 costs from £21 to £76 and are selling fast. Last year’s final was a sell-out and fans are advised to move quickly to secure their seat at the historic showpiece final. To book tickets call 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
For more information about the Carnegie Challenge Cup visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk