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Ex-Wasp Lee Crooks spies Hull surprise
FORMER York Wasps boss Lee Crooks believes his old club Hull will put a painful chapter in their history to rest when they play Wigan in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley today.
Hull have never lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley, their last two defeats coming in 2008 and back in 1985, when Crooks played at prop in the side defeated 28-24 in what is widely regarded as the greatest final of all time.
However, the former Great Britain forward – whose coaching career included a well-documented troubled time at York – is confident that record will be brought to an end this afternoon.
“I really do think this is Hull’s year, they’re a team which has what it takes to win on the greatest stage of all,” said Crooks, a Black and Whites’ legend.
“The old cliché of ‘anything can happen on the day’ rings true, of course, but that’s not to say anyone should be shocked should this group of players achieve what no Hull team has been able to do.
“Wigan are a high-quality side and will rightly start as favourites but as we saw in the semi-final win against Warrington, Hull have the ability, the hunger and the resolve to win big games.
“They will need to execute better than they have been this season – if they hand over as much ball as they did against Warrington then Wigan will punish them – but their fate is in their own hands.
“Records are there to be broken and history is there to be made.”
Crooks’ son, Ben, 20, has been included in a 19-man Hull squad just weeks after undergoing surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.
Former York College student Tom Lineham, whose rugby league career began at York and who started this season back in the Knights’ ranks, misses out with an ankle injury.
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