Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos - Youngsters urged to repeat their Super League efforts

IT IS unheard of to be contemplating Super League fixtures just four days before a Challenge Cup final but this is no ordinary season.

Liam Tindall, in action for Leeds Rhinos against Catalans Dragons at Headingley. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar, therefore, will send out his young squad tonight urging them to make the most of their latest opportunity.

His primary job this week is bringing back the silverware from Wembley but firstly is the small matter of taking on Warrington Wolves at Halliwell Jones Stadium.

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Unlike their final opponents Salford Red Devils, the West Yorkshire club are able to rest almost their entire likely Cup final squad, with a raft of youngsters coming in instead.

Agar adopted the same policy when playing Catalans Dragons just under a fortnight ago in a midweek game before their Cup semi-final win over Wigan Warriors. With the likes of Liam Tindall, Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor all impressing, they gave a good account of themselves until two late tries blew the final scoreline out to 34-6.

That trio are set to feature again tonight with Agar possibly naming as many as five teenagers in his matchday squad.

Ahead of the game against opponents chasing a Grand Final appearance, he said: “We’ve talked very much about the effort, toughness and commitment we’d like to play with.

“We are not focusing too much on the big picture.

IN CONTENTION: Adam Cuthbertson looks for a way through against Catalan Dragons. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We have some internal standards and areas of the game we like to be strong in, regardless of the result and I think that’s what we are looking for again.

“The guys got a terrific taste of it last time and came out with a real confidence in the way they handled the physical nature of the game, so we want more of the same.

“We are playing another top team who are challenging up there for the title, so it will be a terrific challenge for them and we are looking forward to it.”

Brad Dwyer, Cameron Smith, Tom Holroyd and Jack Walker are all in the 21-man squad after playing against Hull FC on Thursday but all will hope to feature at Wembley and could conceivably sit this out.

Leeds Rhinos' coach Richard Agar. Picture by Simon Hulme

Australian prop Adam Cuthbertson is another included who could feature in the final, while former Warrington second-row Bodene Thompson – who is Cup-tied – plus Luke Briscoe, Brett Ferres and another former Wolves player Rhys Evans offer plenty of experience.

Agar said: “We’ve just got a couple of (Wembley) spots to decide.

“We’ve probably 15 names locked in. We may put our team out earlier in the week just to stop all the questions coming in.

“We’ll work out after the game if any guys have to back-up. It could be one or two or potentially a situation where we don’t have any.”

Warrington are looking to hit back after a three-game losing run.

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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.