No down time for Hull as Eagles eye top scalp

HULL FC head coach Lee Radford admits he can ill-afford to rest any players for Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against Sheffield Eagles – but could not even if he wanted to.

Hull FC coach Lee Radford.

The Super League club take on the high-flying Championship side in the fifth round at Bramall Lane.

Hull are still favourites after overcoming some poor form with successive victories over St Helens and Widnes Vikings.

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Yet Radford conceded: “When the fixture came out I’d have loved to have got a side we could have rested one or two against, but I don’t feel we can do that against Sheffield.

“Prior to Sunday, they had not lost a game for eight weeks.

“Against Super League opposition they will be fired up.”

Mark Aston’s team have former Super League players such as ex- Bradford Bulls and England loose forward Jamie Langley and ex-Hull KR hooker Keal Carlile in their ranks, plus powerful Papua New Guinea centre Menzie Yere. Radford added: “I went to watch Sheffield on Sunday against Leigh and have seen a couple of their games.

“They are a good side. I went to Bramall Lane on Monday, too, to take a look and it’s a good pitch, similar to the KC in dimensions.

“The quality is good as well which will be good for us.”

But Radford is struggling for fit players with captain Gareth Ellis (rib) and scrum-half Marc Sneyd (ankle) among those still injured.

“The side we put out won’t be far off the team that played against Widnes, mainly due to the numbers we have available at the moment,” added Radford.

“At this moment in time we won’t have anybody back, but there are a couple of 50/50s which we will see about at the weekend.

“I don’t want to put any pressure on the physio staff or the players, but Liam Watts and Kirk Yeaman could return. They are both in contention.

“Gaz Ellis is probably still a couple of weeks away.”