CHALLENGE Cup Final day – a marquee occasion in the rugby league calendar.

While it was already due to take place outside of the August Bank Holiday slot that has become regular this year, it was supposed to happen in July in front of a packed Wembley rather than in October at an empty one.

Sadly, Warrington Wolves will take no part for the first time in three years but there could be plenty of connections to both the club and the town involved as Leeds Rhinos take on Salford Red Devils.

We take a look at them here…


The Leeds Rhinos head coach will enjoy the undoubted peak of his rebuilding job at Headingley when he leads his side out at Wembley.

He spent a spell on the coaching staff at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in the not-too-distant past, serving as an assistant coach to Tony Smith between 2014 and 2017, when he left to take up a job in the NRL.

Warrington Guardian:

Richard Agar during his spell as Warrington Wolves assistant coach. Picture by Mike Boden


Ex-Wire star Myler’s move to full-back has been one of the undoubted success stories of the Rhinos’ season.

He was famously left out of the victorious Wolves team that beat his current club in the 2010 Wembley final but was involved two years later as The Wire regained the famous cup, again at the expense of his current employers.

Warrington Guardian:

Richie Myler, right, celebrates the 2012 Challenge Cup Final win over current employers Leeds Rhinos with Chris Riley and Ryan Atkins. Picture by Mike Boden


A little-known fact about Leeds’ Australian prop is that his father John was born and bred in Warrington.

The veteran was one of a handful of experienced players who featured in a much-changed Rhinos side that lost 32-6 to The Wire in Super League on Tuesday night.

Warrington Guardian:

Adam Cuthbertson in action against The Wire on Tuesday. Picture by


The diminutive hooker has become as popular a figure at Headingley as he was at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, where he came through the academy to make his first-team debut in 2012.

Dwyer’s Warrington career took in a losing Wembley experience – he was in the Wire side beaten 12-10 by Hull FC in the 2016 Challenge Cup Final.

Warrington Guardian:

Brad Dwyer, front, sits disconsolately on the Wembley turf after Warrington's loss to Hull FC in 2016. Picture by Mike Boden


The England international centre played his junior rugby in the town with Latchford Albion, from whom he was picked up by Leeds Rhinos.

He recently joined hometown club Salford after cutting short his spell in the NRL with Gold Coast Titans and scored a try in the Red Devils’ semi-final defeat of The Wire earlier this month.

Warrington Guardian:

Kallum Watkins – front row, far left – during his Latchford Albion days


The Welsh winger came through the Warrington academy and had a very respectable record of 21 tries in 29 first-team games for the club.

After several loan spells, Williams left the club and after a successful spell with London Broncos, he now finds himself as a regular in the Salford side.

Warrington Guardian:

Rhys WIlliams in action for Warrington Wolves in 2013. Picture by Mike Boden


Another who has experienced Wembley heartache in a Warrington shirt having started at stand-off in the 2018 Challenge Cup Final defeat to Catalans Dragons.

A serious Achilles injury meant he missed the entirety of last season – including the Wembley win over St Helens – before moving onto Salford, where he has played a key role alongside Tui Lolohea in the halves.

Warrington Guardian:

Kevin Brown in action for Wolves during the 2018 Challenge Cup Final loss to Catalans. Picture by Mike Boden


It is a struggle to remember any Warrington-born players who have featured in four Challenge Cup Finals, but McCarthy would achieve that if he plays today.

The former Woolston Rovers junior featured in victories for his hometown club in 2009 and 2012 – scoring a try in the latter – and captained Hull KR in the 2015 final against Leeds Rhinos.

Warrington Guardian:

Tyrone McCarthy in action for Salford in their semi-final win over hometown club Warrington earlier this month. Picture by