Marlins pick up intensity in training in order to meet cup challenge

Andy Barker.
Andy Barker.
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MILFORD MARLINS will fly the flag for Leeds tomorrow in the first round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

But it is the toughest-possible start for the National Conference Division One side, who are away to Premier Division champions Siddal (2pm). It is Marlins’ first competitive game of the year.

And assistant-coach Gavin Brown said: “All our pre-season has been focused on this game and once the draw was made the players really stepped up their intensity in training to give themselves the best chance of selection. Everyone is really looking forward to the challenge and will be a great marker as to where we are as a team.”

Marlins’ side includes Andy Barker who was physio for Leeds Rhinos in their 2014 and 2015 Wembley victories. Australian recruit Regan Cooper is vying with Josh Parle and John Plunkett for the hooking role and Joe Ramsden will play his final game for Milford before joining Southport Tigers.

The draw produced two other big West Yorkshire derbies, with Normanton Knights visiting Fryston Warriors, who retained the Yorkshire Cup with a 20-14 victory over Hull side Three Tuns last weekend, and Thornhill Trojans playing host to Lock Lane.

Featherstone Lions have home advantage against Cumbrian team Distington (all 2pm).