Challenge Cup: Coach Lee Radford spoilt for choice as Hull FC get set for Wigan

Jamie Shaul is back in contention for Hull FC for their Challenge Cup date with Wigan. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Jamie Shaul is back in contention for Hull FC for their Challenge Cup date with Wigan. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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HULL FC head coach Lee Radford has the luxury of being able to drop in-form players ahead of tomorrow night’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final against Wigan Warriors.

The Airlie Birds almost have a clean bill of health as they prepare for the game at Doncaster.

Hull FC coach, Lee Radford.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Hull FC coach, Lee Radford. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Kiwi stand-off Carlos Tuimavave and full-back Jamie Shaul are named in the 19-man squad after injuries and prop Liam Watts is also included after shrugging off a knock sustained in last week’s game.

Radford admitted: “We are looking really good, really healthy. There are some players who will miss out that have been playing really well.

“That’s credit to the squad. Jamie Shaul missed out against Salford last week with a hip injury but Curtis Naughton came in and, for me, was man of the match.

“That’s where we’ve been this year; because of the competition we have, everyone’s striving to be as good as they can every week.”

Tuimavave has been out with a hamstring injury but returns for former Great Britain stand-off Leon Pryce, the only change to last week’s 19-man squad.

Wigan have Taulima Tautai returning from a one-game ban and he replaces Frank-Paul Nuuausala, who is suspended, while Joe Bretherton is called up in place of Jack Higginson.

Hull, who lost to Wigan in the 2013 Challenge Cup final when Radford was assistant, are top heading into the Super 8s and won 30-16 at Wigan in mid-May.

However, their opponents are just two points behind them and have the memory of winning 
26-25 at the KC Stadium earlier in the season.

Radford added: “There’s two evenly-matched teams from one to 17.

“Without bluffing anyone, there is not a great deal between the two sides. Whichever team turns up on Friday and makes the most of their opportunities will win the game.

“Offensively, Wigan are not as high as they’d like to be in terms of try-scorers this season.

“But they are right up there defensively that tells me when we have got a chance we have to put them to bed.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Ben Jones-Bishop, 27, has signed a new one-yer deal with the Challenge Cup semi-finalists.