Wigan Warriors are aiming to win the Challenge Cup for the second time in three teams when they meet Hull FC in the final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane also has the added incentive of a new contract at the Warriors if he guides them to a 19th Challenge Cup final triumph.
Wigan are the most coveted team in Challenge Cup history having already won the competition 18 times, six more than their nearest challengers St. Helens.
That stat is largely built on a period of sheer domination between 1988 and 1995, where they won the competition on all eight occasions.
However that total domination has wavered in recent times and this years’ final is only the second one they have reached in the past nine years.
The final is a repeat of the 1985 meeting, regarded by many as the greatest of all Challenge Cup finals.
That year, Wigan scraped through 28-24 winners, ending a 20-year wait for Challenge Cup success and proved as one of the main springboards to success in the years that followed.
Their only other meeting in a Challenge Cup final was back in 1959, when Wigan again ran out winners by 30 points to 13.
Their only meeting in the league this year also went the way of Wigan, as they came away from the KC Stadium 28-20 winners back in April, with the return fixture taking place next Friday.
Despite a hat-trick from Hull’s Tom Lineham in the first game, Pat Richard’s superb goal kicking in the match proved to be the major deciding factor as the visitors came away with the two points.
Wigan have also had the better overall league season, currently sitting in third place whilst Hull are in seventh.
Despite history not supporting them, Hull shouldn’t be written off after their recent run of form has seen them secure four wins from four, including the fantastic win over Warrington Wolves in the semi-finals.
Peter Gentle is able to name top try-scorer Ben Crooks in the squad for the final who has been absent from the first team since July’s defeat to Bradford due to an ankle injury whilst Richard Horne is also included following a three-month absence.
In comparison, Wigan have struggled in Super League of late, picking up only one win in four, a 21-16 victory over Hull KR three weeks ago, although in fairness to them, their fixtures have been significantly trickier than Hull’s.
Crucially, talisman Sam Tomkins is available for selection alongside outside back Josh Charnley, who has scored more tries than anyone else in Super League this season. Captain Sean O’Loughlin also returns to the Wigan ranks as does centre Darrell Goulding.
The match kicks-off at 3pm and you can watch it live on BBC One.
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