David Hodgson believes he has missed out on one of rugby league’s greatest moments – celebrating a Challenge Cup victory at Wembley.
The 31-year-old Hull KR winger has a winners medal in the competition after coming off the bench to help Wigan beat St Helens in 2002 at Murrayfield.
Seven years later, Hodgson finally got his chance to play at Wembley in the showcase final but his Huddersfield Giants side lost out to Warrington.
Now Hodgson is hoping to clinch a winning return to Wembley in August, although first Rovers must knock out his former club Wigan when they meet at Craven Park tomorrow in the fifth round.
“The win at Murrayfield was a great experience but everyone wants to play at Wembley and win a Challenge Cup,” he said. “I played at Wembley for Huddersfield and although we lost, playing there was massive.
“The Challenge Cup goes back a long way. I used to watch it as a kid with all those great teams playing at Wembley and lifting the Challenge Cup trophy.
“It’s a massive thing for players, especially when you get that little bit further in the competition, you settle in a bit and realise how special it could be.”
On paper, the Warriors are favourites. They are top of Super League, while Hull KR are ninth. But Hodgson acknowledges the Cup can be a great leveller, as they proved by knocking out St Helens in the previous round.
“Wigan are sitting at the top of Super League and they’re there for a reason,” Hodgson said. “But the Challenge Cup is about whoever turns up on the day. If we play well who’s to say we can’t turn them over.
“Beating St Helens is always good.
“They’re a tough team and although they had a few injuries at the time, the young lads they bring in are quality players and can do a job, so to beat them was massive, especially in the Challenge Cup because they always seem to go well.”