Former England captain Jamie Peacock is tipping Castleford to win the Challenge Cup – but he thinks that Toronto Wolfpack will shock a few sides along the way in their inaugural season in the competition.
Peacock, who is now head of rugby at Championship club Hull KR, won the Cup with Bradford and Leeds and believes the addition of the Canadian club has added a new dimension to the famous knock-out competition.
“I think Toronto Wolfpack coming over here and competing in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is fantastic for the competition,” he wrote in his news.ladbrokes.com column.
“They’re a very ambitious outfit with what they want to achieve, and I think they’ve been a breath of fresh air.
“I was fortunate enough to meet their CEO Eric Perez a little while back, and it was quickly clear to me that he is a very dynamic and driven man. It’s exciting to see them in the tournament.
“They’re talking up their credentials about promotion, and they’ve got an excellent challenge this weekend against the London Broncos, which will be a good test of where they’re at. And you know what? I reckon they could spring an upset there this weekend.
“Wolfpack have a lot of players who are of higher quality than the division they’re playing in at the moment so I think the Broncos game is a chance for them to prove themselves.
“It will be one where Toronto will fancy themselves to lay down a marker to everybody else and show they mean business. They want to get one step up with promotion and they will want to get another round further in the Challenge Cup to help make their name.”
However, Peacock has picked out his potential winner – Super League leaders Castleford Tigers.
“The Challenge Cup is more exciting than ever, with Toronto coming in, plus your French teams and the amateur sides. They all bring something different and it adds to the excitement.
“It’s really improving all the time, and of course there’s always the chance of an upset which adds to the magic. And quite often you can get an underdog which goes all the way to Wembley, so it has everything. It’s got all the history too so it’s one all the players love to play in.
“But who wins it this year? I’m saying Castleford…”