Exclusive: RFL select Bramall Lane to host Cup final replay

SHEFFIELD UNITED'S Bramall Lane ground will host the Carnegie Challenge Cup final replay if Leeds and Warrington end all-square on Saturday.

Only three finals have ever finished level, the last of which was in 1982 when Hull beat Widnes in a replay at Leeds United's Elland Road.

However, bookmakers are struggling to split Leeds and Warrington in one of the most closely-matched showpieces in years and it would be no surprise if there was a stalemate.

The Yorkshire Post understands Bramall Lane, which has acted as home to 1998 Challenge Cup victors Sheffield Eagles for the first time this season and has a 32,700 capacity, is set to be the venue if that does occur on Wednesday, September 8.

Leeds were involved in the first drawn final in 1910 when they finished 7-7 with Hull before winning the replay at Huddersfield while opponents Warrington defeated Halifax in a re-match at Odsal in 1954.

Meanwhile, Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield admitted the build-up to their first Wembley appearance in 11 years is already gathering pace.

"I think it's pretty new to a lot of us," he said.

"There is only Keith (Senior) who has played at the old Wembley in a Challenge Cup final.

"There's quite a lot of excitement about the place. You could see the smiles on the faces of the boys this morning.

"It's a massive occasion, especially with it being a sell-out."

Leeds three-quarter Kallum Watkins makes his comeback from a knee reconstruction in the Carnegie 9s at Headingley tomorrow night.

The 18-year-old, who played in six of the Rhinos' opening seven matches of the season before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, will be joined in the Leeds squad by Paul McShane, Kyle Amor, Jay Pitts, Luke Ambler and Michael Coady after they failed to make coach Brian McClennan's Challenge Cup final squad.

Bradford have included England internationals Jamie Langley and Paul Sykes in their squad for the Carnegie 9s while ex-Bulls hooker Ian Henderson has signed for Catalans on a three-year deal from New Zealand Warriors.

Salford's teenage hooker Gareth Owen will make his first appearance before the Rugby Football League tonight, just two matches into his Super League career. The 18-year-old has been charged with making dangerous contact with Huddersfield's Kevin Brown on Sunday.