Leeds Rhinos not underestimating cup rivals

Leeds loose forward Chris Clarkson insists the Rhinos won’t under-estimate Leigh Centurions when they host the Championship leaders in a Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday June 6 (8.00pm).

Clarkson is expecting a tough battle for the coveted semi-final spot against the sport’s only undefeated team in 2014 with Leigh having won all 16 league games going into the Cup battle.

“Leigh are in great form and we are aware that it will not be easy by any means.” said Clarkson. “They have been one of the top Championship teams for a while now and they will be ready for the game I’m sure.

“We don’t know too much about them but we will watch plenty of video in preparation to get to know how they play: we will just focus on our game plan and treat it as a normal match.”

The 24-year-old  has special memories of watching the Challenge Cup as he grew up and always hoped he would get the chance to lift the prestigious Cup at Wembley but so far that dream has brought nothing but heartache.

“I have played in two Challenge Cup finals and lost both which has been heart-breaking. I remember going to the 1999 Cup final when Leeds played London Broncos and it was just an amazing experience, I was playing rugby at the time as a kid and remember thinking I want to play in a game like this.”

Clarkson is expecting plenty of Leigh fans to make the trip to Yorkshire on Friday night in what he hopes will be a great spectacle for the game.

“I think lots of Leigh fans will be making the journey over on Friday and I am sure the atmosphere will be great, there’s nothing better than playing at Headingley on a Friday night – well, maybe playing at Wembley!”

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