It is looking all set to be a true family day out at Wembley for the Kings of Meltham.
While head coaches Tony Smith of Warrington Wolves and opposite number Lee Radford of Hull FC are keeping their cards close to their chests for Saturday’s Challenge Cup final, the King brothers Toby and George are expecting to be part of the action.
The suggestion is that former Giants supremo Smith is set to retain the squad that notched a 14-11 Super 8s over Castleford last weekend – when a try from second rower Jack Hughes, who was on loan at Huddersfield last season, secured success.
If the Wolves are to stick with the winning formula then 21-year-old George and 20-year-old Toby are set to be in the 17 to chase Challenge Cup glory.
“It is looking like both myself and Toby are going to play in the team,” said second rower George.
“We will have to wait until the teams are announced, but it does look like we are going to go with the same squad that was on duty last week.
“If that is the case then it is just going to make a special day extra special.”
Plenty of family and friends will be making the journey to watch the brothers who have played rugby together all the way through from schools and junior level.
“Obviously we were at Meltham All Blacks together, and there was schools rugby too playing for Honley High, and All Saints and I better not miss out St Patrick’s either,” said George.
“But it has been fantastic that we have been through a lot of that together and it is really a family affair.
“Most of our family are gearing up for what should be a cracking day, I am just hoping that we can get out there and play the best rugby that we can.”
And in the local clubhouses it will not just be those at Meltham All Blacks who will be willing on the Huddersfield-born pair, as George is assistant coach at National Conference League One outfit Underbank Rangers.
“I am sure that there will be a few of the lads at Underbank ready to make a day of it,” said George, who is relishing his chance to get experience on the coaching front.
“The club have got a really good coach in Richard Knight, we have a good group of players and we are looking for promoted.
“Given recent promotions and progress you could say the success has come rather too quickly as our main aim is to build a strong squad that can maintain success for some time.
“It has happened quickly, but we are bringing through players to add to a group and it is really down to building on that now.”
However, the far more pressing issue is ensuring that the Challenge Cup returns to Warrington – which would bring a fourth Wolves win in eight years after successes over the Giants on 2009 (25-16), Leeds in 2010 (30-6), and the Rhinos again in 2012 (35-18).
Famously final rivals Hull FC will try yet again to break a Challenge Cup hoodoo that has never seen them win at Wembley, their two successes being 18-9 over Widnes in a replayed final at Leeds’ Elland Road and in 2005 25-24 against Leeds at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium – the Airlie Birds side including a young Danny Brough now of Giants fame.
With Hull FC top and Wolves second in the Super 8s it could hardly be a tougher task, but George says that keeping the focus firmly on the job at hand holds the key.
“There have been so many great players of the game over the years who never made it to the final, you have to understand that it is something to savour,” said King.
“You dream about it as a kid and you want to experience that atmosphere.
“And it will be a cracking atmosphere with two well supported teams at Wembley.
“I can only talk from the Warrington side of things, but the town has turned primrose and blue and the fans are absolutely buzzing which is fantastic.
“But for the players what matters is getting the job done and at the end of the day the focus is on the rugby.
“Both teams have beaten some pretty good opposition to get to the Challenge Cup final and both are playing at top level in Super League.
“We know that Hull have a cracking side and you cannot take your eye off the ball or lose concentration for a second against them because that split second could make the difference.
“But we are feeling confident about the way we are playing and the gameplan we have – on the day we just have to do our stuff!”!”