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Saturday, May 1, 1999 Published at 19:51 GMT 20:51 UK


Sport: Rugby League

Challenge Cup teams and profiles



Injuries dominated the pre-Wembley team talk for both Challenge Cup finalists, but while many of London's stars were absent, Leeds had everyone fit and ready to start.

BBC News Online profiled the two coaches and the 26 players who started the last Wembley final before the stadium's rebuilding.

Leeds Rhinos

Graham Murray (coach): Murray is taking over at North Sydney next season and aims to bow out with Leeds' first Challenge Cup success for 21 years.

Iestyn Harris (full-back). Inspiring as captain, clever playmaker and ace marksman. Won Super League's Man of Steel award last season.

Leroy Rivett (winger): Leicester-born player burst onto the scene in 1998, emerging from a loan spell with Bramley to score two tries in the final eliminator against St Helens.


[ image:  ]
Richie Blackmore (centre, pictured): Vastly experienced Kiwi international dogged by a injury problems for the last year but desperate for winners medal after losing 1992 final with Castleford.

Brad Godden (centre): A shrewd first signing by Murray from his old Hunter Mariners club in 1998. Previously spent six years with Newcastle Knights.

Francis Cummins (winger): The youngest player ever to appear at Wembley, he was just 17 years and 200 days when Leeds lost to Wigan five years ago.

Daryl Powell (stand-off): Enjoyed a new lease of life after leaving Keighley in July 1997. Had earlier made more than 300 appearances for Sheffield Eagles and collected 33 Great Britain caps.

Ryan Sheridan (scrum-half): Tipped to reach top when snapped up by Sheffield in 1991 but only realised potential with a move to Leeds in December 1996.

Barrie McDermott (prop): Fiery forward who has worked hard to improve discipline after being sent off in the opening round against Wigan.

Terry Newton (hooker): Began last year with a broken leg and went from playing on loan at Bramley to making his Great Britain debut against New Zealand.

Darren Fleary (prop): Huddersfield-born Fleary was an unsung hero with Dewsbury and Keighley before hitting the big time and a Great Britain debut in 1998.

Adrian Morley (second row): One of the best second-row forwards in the world and the subject of a tug of war between England, Wales and Ireland for his World Cup services.

Anthony Farrell (second row): Did the rounds with Huddersfield and Sheffield before joining with Ryan Sheridan and Dean Lawford in following Gary Hetherington to Leeds in 1996.

Marc Glanville (loose-forward): A Grand Final winner with Newcastle Knights, Glanville has added a touch of steel to the Rhinos pack for the last two years.

Subs: James Mathiou, Marcus St Hilaire, Lee Jackson, Andy Hay.

How they got there

4th rd - Leeds 28 Wigan 18
5th rd - Leeds 24 St Helens 16
Qtr-finals - Widnes 10 Leeds 46
Semi-finals - Leeds 23 Bradford 10

London Broncos

Dan Stains (coach): Appointed as successor to Tony Currie last November. Formerly a prop forward with Cronulla and Halifax and represented Australia.

Tulsen Tollett (full-back): Born in Hastings he emigrated to Australia as a youngster and played for Penrith and Parramatta before coming to the attention of the Broncos in 1996.

Rob Smyth (winger): High-profile signing from Wigan last May, Smyth is just back from an injury lay-off. Ex- Academy international.

John Timu (centre): A dual New Zealand international who collected 27 caps as an All Black. Signed from Canterbury.

Greg Fleming (centre): A powerful and experienced three-quarter whose preferred position is full-back. Formerly with Western Reds.


[ image:  ]
Martin Offiah (winger, pictured): A living legend, Offiah recently notched his 447th touchdown to become the most prolific try-scoring Englishman ever. He is also aiming for a record three Lance Todd Trophies.

Karle Hammond (stand-off): A creative player with a fine kicking game, Hammond was snapped up from St Helens at the end of last season.

Shaun Edwards (scrum-half): The most successful player in the modern game, Edwards is hoping to defy a broken thumb to win his tenth winners medal in the Challenge Cup.

Steele Retchless (prop): One of the best defensive players in the British game, he holds the unofficial world record with 66 tackles in a game.

Robbie Beazley (hooker): A former Australian schoolboy international who played with Penrith and Illawarra. Now in his third season with Broncos.

Shane Millard (second row): Strong defender who, like Retchless, has been drafted into the front row with Grant Young and Darren Bradstreet absent.

Robbie Simpson (second row): Returning from a one-match ban and making the most of his chance following the team's injury crisis. Signed from St George this year.

Matt Salter (prop): Born in south-east London, Salter graduated from the Broncos Academy and made the GB Academy tour to New Zealand in 1996.

Peter Gill (loose forward): At 34 and in his fourth and final season, Gill is a father figure of the Broncos and set to lead the team out on the biggest day in the club's history.

Subs: Mat Toshack, Glen Air, Dean Calloway, Chris Ryan.

How they got there

4th rd - London 64 Doncaster 0
5th rd - Hull K R 0 London 6
Qtr-finals - London 54 Whitehaven 6
Semi-finals - London 33 Castleford 27

Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford).



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