Hemel Stags coach Troy Perkins says he is relishing the chance to see his charges go up against Super League opposition in the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Hemel travel to take on Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in a reversed fourth round fixture and Perkins believes it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for his squad, who only entered the game’s professional ranks for the 2013 season.
“We had a potential banana skin against a very strong community club in Ince Rose Bridge in the last round,” said Perkins. “It was very pleasing to get through and get our name in the bag for the next round.
“To be in the mix at this stage is great for the club and it doesn’t get much bigger or better than drawing Super League opposition.
“Wakefield are a great club so the experience for our guys to play against them will be fantastic.
“Most of our players have never been in the situation to play against players of this calibre before and they may never be in the situation again.
“Wakefield have some world class players like Tim Smith, Ali Lauitiiti and Justin Poore and to be on the same field as those players and test ourselves against them is a huge opportunity.
“People also talk about the financial benefit for the clubs in these types of games and while there is certainly an aspect of that, the biggest thing for Hemel is the experience our players will gain from this.”
Hemel made their bow in the semi-professional ranks in the Northern Rail Cup earlier this season and followed up their maiden professional win against University of Gloucestershire All Golds with victory over London Skolars in the opening round of Championship One.
Perkins believes that will have buoyed his squad.
“Championship One is clearly our focus but it’s a massive bonus to be going up against Wakefield,” he said.
“The lads will all be pushing hard in training to get selected in the team for the game and as long as we make our tackles, keep hold of the ball and complete our sets then who knows what can happen.
“We’ve had a few good wins and we’ve gone close in the other games so we’re in pretty good form. We’ve nothing to fear against Wakefield.
“We know there’s no pressure on us. We’re not expected to win. I just want our players to go out there and compete and we’ll enjoy the moment and work hard – this is the cup and it’s anyone’s game.”
Tickets for the 2013 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final, which takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24, are now on sale. Visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call 0844 856 1113 for full details.
Fans also have until the end of April to take advantage of a special upgraded ticket offer, which means fans who purchase a ticket for the final throughout the month will automatically receive a free upgrade to the next ticket pricing band.
To take advantage of the offer, please quote the promotion code UPGRADE01 when booking.