Leeds Rhinos v Workington Town: Singletons’ sibling rivalry adds spice to fifth-round Challenge Cup tie

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BROTHERLY LOVE will be absent when the first whistle blows at Emerald Headingley tonight.

The Coral Challenge Cup fifth round has pitted Leeds Rhinos’ Brad Singleton against his younger sibling, Perry, who plays for Workington Town.

It will be the first time the brothers have faced each other at any level of the game and the Leeds man is desperate not to give up bragging rights.

“We speak quite a lot and he’s very excited about it,” he said of his brother.

“Realistically, we never thought it would happen, especially this early in our careers.

“The route he took and the route I took were opposite ends of the scale. He came into the pro’ game a bit later than I did and in leagues apart.

Leeds Rhinos pack man, Brad Singleton. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Leeds Rhinos pack man, Brad Singleton. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“It is going to be a special occasion for the family and I think it’ll be a proud day and one we can all remember.”

Brad, 26, is a prop while his 25-year-old brother plays at centre, but there will be no holding back if one strays into the other’s territory.

“He might come for me, I might go for him,” Brad said.

“It depends on what happens at the time.

We used to go at it quite often as kids because there’s only a year’s difference. That sort of thing wasn’t uncommon, but I think we’ve mellowed now.

Brad Singleton

“We used to go at it quite often as kids because there’s only a year’s difference.

“That sort of thing wasn’t uncommon, but I think we’ve mellowed now.

“He is a good kid and I am really proud of where he’s at in the game.

“I have got every faith he will get the best out of his career.”

Workington Town centre, Perry Singleton, younger brother of Leeds' Brad Singleton. PIC: Workington Town RLFC

Workington Town centre, Perry Singleton, younger brother of Leeds' Brad Singleton. PIC: Workington Town RLFC

What would be regarded as a routine test for Leeds in most seasons appears to be a banana skin for a team who have won just twice in 10 Betfred Super League fixtures.

Town coach Leon Pryce is an old adversary of Rhinos, particularly from his days as a player at Bradford Bulls and St Helens and the Cumbrians will travel with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Perry Singleton is one of the Town players who will do a shift at work before setting off on the team coach to the game this afternoon.

“For me, these players have it really tough because they are playing the same sort of physical sport, but they are also going to work as well so they are doing it on the side,” Leeds’ Singleton said.

“That shows the mental strength of these blokes. I think you can never take a group of men lightly, they have got a good pack and a good foundation to build on.

“You can’t, ever, underestimate them so I think the best thing for us to do is just treat them like any other team in Super League.

Workington Town coach, Leon Pryce. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Workington Town coach, Leon Pryce. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“What we are crying out for is the foundation of a good performance.”

The Cup tie against a team two divisions down the ladder is an opportunity for Rhinos to put their league form to one side and build some confidence, but Singleton insisted: “We can only think about what’s next and take it game by game.

“I have been here personally last year and in 2016 and there’s not a lot of difference between being at the top – because I’ve been in and around winning sides since 2011 – and being at the bottom, bar attitude.

“The top teams have respect for each other and graft for each other. You have to have the willingness to work for each other; the error will never be the missed tackle, it will be not clearing up for your team-mate.”