Rugby League ESL Challenge Cup - News and Views

S J

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Coral Challenge Cup final - Leeds v Salford
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday, 17 October Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Radio Leeds & BBC Radio Manchester; live text, radio & TV coverage on BBC Sport website and app.

Salford duo Dan Sarginson and Jack Ormondroyd will miss out on Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Leeds after testing positive for Covid-19.

While the pair continue to self-isolate, the Red Devils welcome Niall Evalds back from injury.

Leeds winger Tom Briscoe, who signed a contract extension with the Rhinos on Wednesday, is poised to feature in his fifth Challenge Cup final.

On-loan forward Bodene Thompson is ruled out because he is cup-tied.

Salford's first Challenge Cup final appearance for 51 years has this week been overshadowed by the positive coronavirus tests returned by two players, their identities unknown until Salford named their 21-man squad on Thursday.

While Sarginson and Ormondroyd have been ruled out, both Lee Mossop and Mark Flanagan have been cleared to feature after initially returning inconclusive results.

After being retested, they were found to be negative and were allowed to rejoin the squad.
 

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Squads

Leeds Rhinos (from): Walker, T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Lui, Gale, Seumanufagai, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Myler, Cuthbertson, Oledzki, Smith, L Briscoe, Donaldson, A Sutcliffe, Holroyd.

Salford Red Devils (from): Evalds, Welham, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Lannon, Pauli, McCarthy, Ikahihifo, Burke, Yates, Atkin, Flanagan, Greenwood, Williams, Kear, Roberts, Watkins.
 

S J

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Leeds legend Rob Burrow has been named as chief guest "in absentia" for Saturday's Challenge Cup final between the Rhinos and Salford at Wembley.

Burrow announced in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
 

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Coral Challenge Cup
Leeds (12) 17
Tries: Handley 2, Briscoe Goals: Martin 2 Drop-goal: Gale
Salford (6) 16
Tries: Williams, Pauli, Greenwood Goals: Inu 2

Luke Gale kicked a late drop-goal as Leeds rallied to beat Salford and win a first Challenge Cup in five years.

Ash Handley scored two of the Rhinos' three tries, while fellow winger Tom Briscoe broke a Wembley record with his seventh try in a Challenge Cup final.

Salford briefly led when Pauli Pauli and James Greenwood both scored to build on Wales winger Rhys Williams' stunning breakaway first-half try.

But Handley's second try to go to 16-16 was followed by Gale's one-pointer.

Gale was just wide with his first attempt at the sticks but when he had another effort, this one sailed over, to leave last year's beaten Super League Grand Finalists Salford heartbroken in their first Wembley final since 1969.
 

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LEEDS 17 (Ash Handley 2, Tom Briscoe tries; Rhyse Martin 2 goals; Luke Gale field goal);

defeated

SALFORD 16 (Rhys Williams, Pauli Pauli, James Greenwood tries; Krisnan Inu 2 goals) at Wembley Stadium. Referee: Liam Moore.