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Brian McDermott reveals Leeds lineup for the Challenge Cup final

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McDermott watching Leeds play at the Magic Weekend 2014. (©GettyImages)
McDermott watching Leeds play at the Magic Weekend 2014. (©GettyImages).

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott took an unusual step of naming his lineup for the Challenge Cup final against Castleford Tigers in Monday's press conference, Sky Sports report.

McDermott insisted that it wasn't a sign of complacency rather that it was something Castleford coach Daryl Powell would have expected anyway. 

Leeds made the Challenge Cup final after a win over Warrington in the semis and will be hoping that they can lift the trophy for the first time since 1999.

Sinfield to take major honour?

Leeds have made six finals in the last 14 years but they haven't managed to win one since their triumph over London at the old Wembley. Captain Kevin Sinfield says that he doesn't think there's a monkey on their back, but he will be desperate to finally seize the only domestic honour which has alluded him.

Opponents Castleford haven't made a final in 22 years but are enjoying a remarkable season. Last year they finished 12th in Super League and many expected them to be contenders for relegation after Rangi Chase signed for Salford Red Devils, but Powell came in last year and the results have been immediate.

Castleford find themselves fifth at present, with a safe spot in the play-offs and a first appearance at the new Wembley.

Although McDermott naming his side early isn't unprecedented, it could worry Castleford supporters, as it confirms that Leeds will be fielding a full-strength team without any injury concerns.

Starting lineup

At the press conference on Monday, McDermott told the assembled reporters: "Zak [Hardaker] is going to play full-back, Hall and Briscoe playing wings, Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon will play in the centres.

"Kev [Kevin Sinfield] and Mags [Danny Maguire] will play in the halves, with Rob Burrow playing 9. JP and Kylie [Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai] are starting front row.

"Kyle Ablett, Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan will start in the back row."

He then told the media that Kirke, Bailey, Aiton and Liam Sutcliffe will start on the bench.

It's expected that Castleford will announce their 19-man squad on Thursday and the line up on Saturday prior to kick-off at Wembley.

Topics:
Leeds Rhinos
Super League
Castleford Tigers
Challenge Cup
Rugby League
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