Huddersfield-born Michael Lawrence is still dreaming about a first Wembley Challenge Cup final appearance.
But he knows those dreams in 2014 could easily be shattered if the Giants don’t produce their top form in Sunday’s big fourth-round home clash against unbeaten Super League leaders St Helens.
The 23-year-old back-row forward was part of his hometown club’s youth set-up when the Giants played St Helens in the 2006 final at Twickenham and was 18th man when they were beaten by Warrington at Wembley three years later.
Coming so close to playing against the Wolves was tough for Lawrence to take.
And he hopes to use that disappointment as motivation as the Giants embark on their latest bid for Wembley glory.
“I remember watching the 2006 final on TV, but there’s nothing to beat being there live,” he said.
“I was 18th man in 2009 and only 19 at the time, but there were still some mix of emotions for me.
“There were 80,000 people there that day, and to soak up the atmosphere and to get to warm-up in front of that many people was a great experience. I’d have obviously loved to have then played in the game itself.
“But having come so close to playing makes you even more determined to go back and get on that field. It makes the dream even stronger.”
But the former Newsome Panthers junior knows his side couldn’t have asked for a much tougher start to their Challenge Cup campaign.
“St Helens have started the year on fire and it should be a really good game,” he added.
“It’s probably the tie of the round and it’s going to be a tough game, but you have to play all the big teams if you want to get to Wembley.
“It’ll definitely be a good marker of where we’re at when we play Saints. We’ve not managed to finish some games off this year but we just want to go as far as we can in this competition.
“I feel really proud to represent Huddersfield, I know lots of people in the town and I know what rugby league means to people here and how much they want us to be successful.
“To pull on that shirt for Huddersfield knowing what it means to the area gives me that bit of extra pride, and that pride wouldn’t be any greater than if we went to Wembley and lifted the Challenge Cup.”
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