Ellis hoping home advantage pays dividends for Hull

Gareth Ellis hopes to crown Hull FC’s 150th anniversary with a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup triumph but will have to get past his former club Leeds Rhinos in the quarter-finals tomorrow (8.00pm).

Ellis, who had four seasons at the Rhinos, is in his third season for Hull FC following a stint in the NRL with Wests Tigers.

Hull FC, who have won the Cup three times, last reached the final in Ellis’s first season but lost to Wigan Warriors, and the Hull captain has his eyes set on another Wembley appearance.

“It’s a huge competition,” he said. “There’s only two bits of silverware available and this is one of them so it is really important for the players.

“Obviously the club is celebrating its 150th anniversary and have never won at Wembley, which we’re often reminded by our rivals, so it would mean a lot to the players to get there again this year.”

Ellis was a member of the Leeds team that lost to Hull FC in the 2005 Challenge Cup final at Cardiff and the former England international is full of confidence for the visit of the current holders.

“Well we’re certainly confident for it,” said Ellis. “There’s nothing like playing at your home ground, particularly in a big game like the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.

“The opportunity to play in the semi-finals is what it’s all about so it’s a big game for both clubs. Hopefully our home advantage, which is all you can ask for in a quarter-final, can play a big part in our success.”