YORK City Knights may not have faced Wigan Warriors for three-and-a-half decades ahead of Friday’s Betfred Challenge Cup tie (7.45pm), but they do boast a player with both a recent and successful record against the Cherry and Whites.

Forward Danny Washbrook has played in three Challenge Cup finals for former club Hull FC, lifting the trophy in 2016 and 2017.

On both of those occasions, Washbrook was part of the Hull sides that defeated Wigan en route to claiming winners’ medals, in the semi-finals in 2016 and then in the final in 2017.

For Washbrook’s latest encounter with Wigan, the reigning Betfred Super League Leaders’ Shield winners are overwhelming odds-on favourites with the bookmakers.

“Whoever you ask, they’ll all be saying that Wigan will win,” said Washbrook. “We don’t have anything to lose. We want to prove that we are worthy of playing against a Super League opposition.

“We’re aiming to get promoted at the end of the year, that’s what the ultimate goal is, so putting in a good performance against Wigan and showing that we can mix it with a team like them would be first-class.”

With Hull, Washbrook helped the Black and Whites to win back-to-back Cup for the first time - and being part of such history means a lot to the 35-year-old.

“It was an amazing occasion,” he said of the 2017 final. “In 2016, it was about getting the monkey off our back because everybody always spoke about Hull FC never winning at Wembley.

“We managed to get that hoodoo off our backs and then managed to get there again and win it, which was amazing.

“Everybody knew that Hull hadn’t won at Wembley before 2016 - that’s part of Hull KR’s favourite song, so we couldn’t not know that.

“In regards to winning it two times on the trot, I didn’t know that. It’s not something that I went into the game thinking about.

“Part of it was we’re the holders and we don’t want to let go, so that was a motivation for us. It didn’t really matter about winning it a certain number of times, it was about being current holders of the trophy and not wanting to give it up.”

Tomorrow’s third-round cup tie will again take place behind closed doors at the LNER Community Stadium. For such a historic occasion, fans are even more keenly missed.

“Obviously it would be better if there were fans, because Wigan are a big team and have got a big following, so bringing them down to the new stadium would be awesome,” Washbrook added.

“Wigan are probably the biggest rugby league club in England. They always take a lot of fans wherever they go, they travel well so it would be good to have them (at the ground). But it can’t be helped at the minute.”

Knights players have been asked about enjoying such high-profile matches in the build-up. The laid-back Washbrook insists he is set on relishing every game he plays in towards the back end of his career.

“I enjoy every game,” said the 35-year-old. “I’m at the point now where I haven’t got too many games left in me so I’ll enjoy them all, no matter what the result, although I never like losing.

“There’s only so much life in your legs and so many games you can play, so I’ll be enjoying it and I’m sure all the boys will be as well, no matter the result.

“Wigan in the Challenge Cup, it’s an occasion that doesn’t come round very often.”