Leeds Rhinos: Fit-again Achurch crosses fingers for Wembley Rhinos role

Mitch Achurch
Mitch Achurch
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FORWARD MITCH Achurch has confirmed he is fully fit and in contention for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final against Hull KR.

Achurch featured in Leeds Rhinos’ win over Hull last Friday, after being knocked out against Wigan the week before – on his comeback from a long-term wrist injury.

“I got through it unscathed,” Achurch said of the game three days ago. “I am just relieved, to be honest, there were a couple of tough moments out there when my lungs felt like they were going to explode, but I feel confident hopefully I have done enough to get in the side this week. We’ll see what Mac says during the week.”

Achurch is facing an anxious few days until coach Brian McDermott names his Wembley squad.

“These things don’t come around very often,” he said. “It is going to be a nervous wait.

“Last year I was 18th man and I’ll be disappointed if it’s that again, but I can’t control injuries and whatnot.

“Selection is out of my hands. Now I have got through a game and I am reasonably happy with how it went, it’s just a case of sit back and hope for the best.”

Of the players likely to be in contention this week, only Achurch, Mitch Garbutt and Adam Cuthbertson have not featured in a Wembley final.

But Achurch was 18th man last year - which meant he did everything except play - and he is confident that experience will help him, if selected this time.

“I have thought about that,” he said.

“I have had the experience of the atmosphere, of being there and even the whole week of preparation.

“Up until they say ‘thanks for being 18th man, you’re not playing’, I really felt I was part of it.

“I have done the preparation and I hope this time I can take the next step and play in the big game.

“I feel I am ready to do that now and after Friday, getting through the game unscathed, I feel pretty confident.”