Leeds boss Brian McDermott has tipped Castleford’s Daryl Powell to claim Paul Anderson’s Super League Coach of the Year crown.
Giants chief Anderson scooped the top award last season after helping Huddersfield claim top spot for the first time in 81 years.
But ahead of Saturday’s Leeds v Castleford Challenge Cup final clash at Wembley, former Giants assistant coach McDermott has heaped praise on Powell for his achievements in his first full season in charge of the Tigers.
“Daryl is a good coach,” said McDermott. “What a fantastic season he’s had.
“You’d be hard pushed to not vote him as coach of the year already, wouldn’t you?
“He’s done some great recruitment. A few of us were shaking our heads, thinking ‘I don’t know about him’ but he’s coached them all up to be very good players.”
Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane will host a possible replay of the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final.
If the scores are level at full-time in Saturday’s all-Yorkshire showpiece between Castleford and Leeds at Wembley, it will be replayed on Wednesday, September 3.
Extra time is used to decide the Super League Grand Final and also Challenge Cup ties up to and including the semi-finals, but the final is an exception.
It is 32 years years since the last Cup final draw - Hull went on to beat Widnes in the replay at Elland Road - but Leeds and Castleford played out a 24-24 draw in their last meeting in Super League in July.
Hull captain Gareth Ellis has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the KC Stadium until the end of 2016.
The 33-year-old former England international had the pick of Super League clubs when he decided to return from the NRL three years ago and opted to pen a three-year deal with the Airlie Birds.
Although he still had 12 months left on that deal, the former Wakefield, Leeds and Wests Tigers second rower is keen to help turn around Hull’s fortunes after failing to reach the play-offs this year.
“It has been a tough year but the signs are all there for the club to progress.” Ellis said. “We have recruited well, the coaching staff are working really hard for us and (chairman) Adam Pearson remains really committed to the club, so as a player that is what you look out for.”