Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis says it will be a “special night” when he faces former club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round at the KC Stadium on Friday (kick-off 8pm).
Ellis, who started his career at Wakefield, made his competitive debut for the Black and Whites in the 48-12 victory over London Broncos last week and is set to feature in Friday’s all-Super League clash.
The England international spent five years with Wildcats before moving on to Leeds Rhinos in 2005 and he knows the importance the world-famous competition holds for Wakefield.
“I started my career at Wakefield and know from experience that the Challenge Cup will be a massive target for everyone at the club,” he said.
“They’re a very well drilled team and we know they will come to the KC in determined mood with a strong following. It would be great to see as many Hull FC there as possible to join us on what we hope will be a very special journey.”
Hull are another club who hold realistic ambitions of lifting the trophy at Wembley in August and Ellis, who has endured a frustrating start to his FC career with a foot injury, says winning the competition is one of the reasons he returned home from a successful four-year spell with NRL side Wests Tigers.
“The Challenge Cup is unique and it’s going to be a special match for me on Friday,” he said.
“When I was considering all my options in Sydney, the chance to play in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley was something that helped sway my decision to come back to England.
“I was lucky enough to play at Wembley with England in the Four Nations in 2011 and it’s an incredible venue. To lead out Hull FC in August would be an amazing experience but that’s not something that anyone here is talking about right now.
“There’s a lot of rugby to be played between now and then and we know we are going to have to be at the top of our game against a Wakefield team which is in good form at the moment.”