Challenge Cup preview: Catalan Dragons v Hull FC

By Sam Drury.   Last Updated: 13/07/13 3:48pm

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Hull FC travel to the Catalan Dragons for the Challenge Cup quarter-final on Saturday as they aim to progress in the competition they last won in 2005.

The English club have lost their last four games in Super League, including a 30-4 defeat away at the Dragons at the beginning of June.

Catalan meanwhile have had mixed fortunes since that victory, losing twice before returning to winning ways against London Broncos last time out.

Laurent Frayssinous' side are missing a number of players for the last eight clash with Brent Webb, Olivier Elima, Louis Anderson, and Jason Baitieri all out injured whilst Julian Bousquet and Mathias Pala are banned.

The home side will also be without the ineligible Elliott Whitehead, who played in the competition earlier in the season for former club Bradford.

However, Catalans are able to bring back a host of players who were rested for last week's win over the Broncos. Leon Pryce, Steve Menzies, Mickael Simon, Jamal Fakir and Daryl Millard all take their places in the 19-man squad.

Experience

Meanwhile, Hull welcome back Ben Crooks. The centre, 20, scored seven tries in his last two outings before an ankle injury forced him out of the defeat to Huddersfield last Sunday.

Crooks replaces prop Paul Johnson in the 19, the only change from that loss to the Giants but whilst the return of the club's reigning young player of the year is a boost, coach Peter Gentle believes it is the senior players who can have the biggest impact for his side.

"It's extremely important in a Challenge Cup quarter final that your senior players stand up and lead the way," he said.

"They've done that this week at training and we'll need more of the same at the weekend. The likes of Gareth Ellis, Ben Galea, Danny Tickle and Jacob Miller have all had two or three games in the side now and they're starting to build some combinations."

Catalan Dragons squad: Blanch, Pryce, Taia, Bosc, Dureau, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Mounis, Maria, Pelissier, Larroyer, Millard, Simon, Fakir, Paea, Duport, Vaccari, Escaré

Hull FC squad: Arundel, Briscoe, Crooks, Ellis, Galea, Green, Heremaia, Houghton, Lineham, Lynch, Miller, McDonnell, O'Meley, Pitts, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman

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