Challenge Cup: Rhinos’ Briscoe well aware of threat presented by Rovers

LEEDS RHINOS winger Tom Briscoe believes the back-three contest with Hull KR will help decide Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final.

Leeds Rhinos' Tom Briscoe.

There is an embarrassment of riches in that department for both teams.

Briscoe, fellow Leeds winger Ryan Hall and full-back Zak Hardaker are all England players while Rovers’ Australian wingers Josh Mantellato and Ken Sio have contributed 39 tries between them in their debut KR seasons.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Furthermore, Mantellato has kicked 99 goals and, at full-back, Hull KR coach Chris Chester has the difficult choice to make between dynamic Kieran Dixon or experienced Ben Cockayne.

“Rovers’ wingers are big threats and it’ll be a great battle to be part of – our back-three versus theirs,” admitted Briscoe, who rose to fame with their derby rivals Hull FC.

“Kieran Dixon is a good player as well and he can return the ball quick and strong.

“Our forward pack have got to be on our game to control those three from the kick-returns.

“But I think all over the field we’ve got to be good, because we know the likes of their halves can put on good shapes.

“On the edges we’ve got to be able to defend that and stop the tries being scored. We’ve worked a lot on our own play, though, and it’s great to be a part of what we’re doing at the moment.”

Briscoe, 25, is in good nick himself despite being only six games into his comeback for the Super League leaders and Cup holders following shoulder surgery in March.

“It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the start,” he admitted. “You want to be playing no matter what, but coming to the business end of the season I wanted to be part of that.

“Luckily enough the injury was early enough on to get myself right for these big games. As soon as we got through the semi-final I knew I wanted to be back in order to play in this one.

“Thankfully, hard work in the gym and re-hab with conditioning staff and physios has paid off.”