CASTLEFORD Tigers have twice as much Challenge Cup winning experience in their squad as more favoured Wembley rivals Leeds Rhinos.
The mid-season signing of Garreth Carvell, from Hull, may prove to be a masterstroke by Cas coach Daryl Powell.
If selected, Leeds-born Carvell will be playing in his fourth final in six seasons – and his sixth in all – and his influence could be crucial to a team lacking players with a big-game background.
While Leeds’ only Cup winner is Jamie Peacock – with two winning medals, both as a Bradford Bulls player – Carvell has four.
The front-rower was a winner with Hull against Leeds in 2005 and collected a runner’s-up medal three years later, when the black and whites lost to St Helens.
The following year he helped Warrington Wolves to victory over Huddersfield Giants and he had more success with the same club in 2010 and 2012, both against Leeds.
Victory on Saturday would make him only the third player to win the Challenge Cup with three different clubs, after Alex Murphy (St Helens, Leigh and Warrington) and Brian Lockwood (Castleford, Hull KR and Widnes).
Carvell moved from Warrington to Bradford last autumn, but quit and returned to Hull before the season began.
He joined Tigers after failing to hold down a regular place for the KC Stadium outfit and admitted: “It has just been really lucky how it has fallen really.
“This season has been a bit of shambles for me – Bradford then Hull where I’ve not really enjoyed it either. But I’ve come to Castleford where I really have loved it and I wasn’t cup-tied fortunately and got a chance to play in the semi-final.
“Whether I’ll be picked to play in the final is a different matter, but it is good to be part of the group that is going to go to Wembley.
“The club, the fans, the players and even the team of ’86 (the last time Cas won the Cup) have all spoken and are desperate for this Challenge Cup win. I’m just really glad to be a part of it.”