Challenge Cup semi-final team news and preview: Castleford Tigers vs Warrington Wolves
Saturday's Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final ties: Hull FC vs St Helens (2.30pm kick-off); Castleford Tigers vs Warrington Wolves (5pm kick-off); news and pre-match thoughts for the Tigers vs Wolves clash at the Leigh Sports Village
Last Updated: 04/06/21 8:40pm
We look at team news and what is being said ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final clash between the Castleford Tigers and the Warrington Wolves...
'Drawing inspiration from the biggest upset in history'
Castleford are hoping to draw inspiration from the biggest upset in Challenge Cup history when they take on in-form Warrington in Saturday's semi-final.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell, looking to lift his side from their 60-6 Super League mauling by Leeds, invited long-serving physiotherapist Matty Crowther to address his players in the build-up to the clash at Leigh Sports Village.
Crowther was a tryscorer when little-fancied Sheffield Eagles beat hot favourites Wigan 17-8 at Wembley in 1998.
"I asked Matty to speak," Powell said. "He's got a special story there.
"Sheffield were pretty much the biggest underdogs ever, it shows anything is possible in rugby league.
"Those sort of stories mean something, they create an emotional bond. It was good to hear what he had to say."
Powell said he did not carry out his customary review of the Leeds game, which resulted in his heaviest defeat in charge of the Tigers, preferring to move quickly onto the next game.
"We haven't reviewed the game," he said. "I just felt there would be no point.
"If we had tried going through that on Monday, we would have still been depressed on Tuesday.
"We said we're moving on and going to crack on with what we've got to do this weekend."
Powell has made four changes to the squad he declared for last week's match against Leeds with Danny Richardson, George Griffin, Greg Eden, and Lewis Peachey making way for Niall Evalds, Adam Milner, Alex Foster, and Gareth O'Brien.
It marks the first time in the 2021 season that Foster has been named in a 21-man squad for Castleford after suffering an injury in the club's sole pre-season friendly.
Michael Shenton, Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, and Jake Trueman are expected back on the pitch too after they all sat out the Rhinos debacle.
Castleford's last visit to the national stadium was back in 2014, and Saturday's semi-final presents a chance to return to that famous turf.
"We need them clearly," he said. "You don't want to sweep anything under the carpet but you only have to look at our team. We've been busted.
"I feel we'll have a strong team out there this week and there's no excuses for us.
"It's the biggest game we've faced for a while. We need to get our performance right and our attitude needs to be great."
Castleford's 21-man squad:
Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata'utia, Michael Shenton, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Oliver Holmes, Cheyse Blair, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, Alex Foster, Jacques O'Neill, Tyla Hepi, James Clare, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Daniel Smith, Suaia Matagi, Jordan Turner, Brad Martin, Gareth O'Brien.
Clark loses ever-present record
Australian forward Jason Clark will lose his ever-present record for Warrington in Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final.
The former South Sydney back-rower limped off in the early stages of Thursday's 62-18 Super League win over Salford and sat out the rest of the game with an ice pack strapped to his calf.
In his pre-match press conference, head coach Steve Price confirmed that Clark, who has featured in all 10 league and cup matches so far this year, will be sidelined for around a month.
"Jace Clark has a calf strain so he's looking at four to five weeks," Price said.
"It's unfortunate as he was playing some really good football and was doing a lot of good things for us.
"It's a shame for Jace but he'll be diligent in his rehab and hopefully he won't be too far away.
"Other than that, we're all good and ready to go."
Clark joins centre Greg Inglis (hamstring) and full-back or winger Matty Ashton (ankle) on the Wolves' injury list but Price confirmed prop Mike Cooper will be back for the semi-final at Leigh Sports Village after sitting out the trip to Salford.
Youngsters Ellis Longstaff and Connor Wrench have both been recalled from loan spells with Newcastle Thunder.
Price added: "I'm just focused on the 80-minute performance on Saturday and preparing the boys the best we can.
"We're not looking too far ahead, it's just about our captain's run now and preparing the best we can for a really solid performance because we've got to keep growing and staying ahead of the game to build on the really solid rhythm and momentum the boys have been building.
"You've got to enjoy training and it's about the application of detail in training as well as living life like a professional. The boys are doing that really well at present and it is flowing into their rugby. I'm happy with how they're playing but it's a different ball game come Saturday.
"We've looked back at round one and identified a few things that we didn't do well, we'll address them and hopefully do them better on Saturday as well as looking at some good things we've done and look to exploit them too. It's about continually improving and growing our game.
"They're a quality football team, they've got a lot of really talented individuals so we'll have to be at our best on Saturday.
"We're expecting a real tough game, as I said they're a real good team and it's knockout footie, we respect everyone we play."
Warrington's 21-man squad:
Sitaleki Akauola, Blake Austin, Rob Butler, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Matt Davis, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Ellis Longstaff, Jake Mamo, Robbie Mulhern, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Josh Thewlis, Danny Walker, Connor Wrench, Gareth Widdop.