Hurrell to make finals debut

Few players will embrace Wembley on Saturday with more motivation that Konrad Hurrell.

Leeds’ resident Tongan will play in his first major final at the weekend, which is enough motivation for any professional athlete.

But for the destructive centre there are plenty of personal reasons for ensuring he lifts the famous trophy.

From his deep affinity with the Rhinos’ faithful to paying tribute to his late mother, Hurrell will head onto the field determined to please and honour many people.

“It took me eight years in the big leagues to get to a major final and I’m so buzzing,” he said.

“It’s a bit weird that the crowd isn’t going to be there. We’ve had a tough couple of years back to back and they’ve stuck by us, so it would have been so good to give them that trip. But even without the crowd, we know they’ll be there in spirit and we have to lift that trophy for them.

“My family are very excited. They know that what I do is for them, especially for my mum. It’s going to be emotional but I know she’s been with me the last couple of months.

“And as for the boys, they’re a great bunch; I love playing with them. I haven’t been my best the last couple of games, but I’m trying to earn their respect and to give my best for the final. I’m looking forward to helping the boys lift the trophy.

“We had a special group last year that didn’t quite come through, but you’ve got to start somewhere. 2018 wasn’t great, and 2019 wasn’t great but we were building.

This year we’ve got a lot of great players, so to turn it around and be a part of that group that gets Leeds back to where they belong makes it feel special to me to be a part of that group.

“It’s taken us two years to get to a final with a chance to lift a trophy. I love playing here and I’m just so happy to be helping turn things around.”

Another motivation for Hurrell, and more generally the Rhinos, is Rob Burrow, the club’s iconic former halfback who has been struck down with Motor Neurone Disease.

“He’s our magic man,” Hurrell said.

“Size doesn’t matter. He’s got the biggest heart of anyone I’ve met and he’s determined to keep fighting.

When I came in last year he was the best bloke to talk to and open up to. Just seeing him around is inspirational. Just seeing how he’s fighting it, I haven’t seen him not smiling once.”

Hurrell has also promised to introduce his famous march to Wembley if he should score a try.

“100 per cent, I’ll be marching if I score. If the fans can’t be there I want to do it for them.”

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