Tetley's Challenge Cup: London Broncos v Wigan Warriors preview
Last Updated: 26/07/13 7:01am
London Broncos' hopes of upsetting Wigan in the Tetley's Challenge Cup semi-finals have been hit by the loss of two key players.
The capital club will be without half-back Michael Witt for Saturday's fixture in Leigh, the Australian being ruled out with a calf complaint.
Captain Tony Clubb - who recently asked to be released from his contract, citing he was "sick of losing" - is also sidelined for the underdogs, due to a knee injury.
Both men also missed the loss to Widnes Vikings last Friday and although every effort has been made to get them ready in time, they failed fitness tests on Thursday and will be spectators at the weekend.
"They've been in a hyperbaric chamber," said Broncos head coach Tony Rea on the pair. "They've done everything possible to try and get to the game but haven't been able to get fit.
"They've done everything scientifically and we've thrown the kitchen sink at trying to get them ready but it hasn't happened."
Michael Robertson and Jamie Soward also missed the 38-12 reverse at the Halton Stadium, a result that, combined with Salford's win over Catalan Dragons, leaves the Broncos three points adrift at the foot of the table.
However, the duo are back in London's 19-man squad; Australian Soward will be looking to book a Wembley trip to sign off his short-term deal in style.
The odds, though, are strongly against Rea and his troops. They have conceded 112 points to the Cherry and Whites in their two meetings this season, including going down 64-6 at the Twickenham Stoop in May.
Wigan have suffered something of a blip in form of late, with Monday's 22-16 defeat to arch-rivals St Helens making it three losses in their last four league outings.
Sam Tomkins, Harrison Hansen and Skipper Sean O'Loughlin, who all sat out the fixture at Langtree Park, are back in coach Shaun Wane's squad as the Warriors aim for a repeat of 2011 when they lifted the trophy.
Anthony Gelling is sidelined with a foot injury but forward Scott Taylor has escaped any punishment after an incident in the derby defeat to Saints.
The Warriors will come up against one of their club colleagues in Rhodri Lloyd, who is currently on loan to the Broncos and appeared in their quarter-final victory over Sheffield Eagles.
Chris Melling and Liam Colbon are also ex-Wigan players who will be hoping to get the better of their former employers and send London to the final for just the second time in their history - they were beaten 52-16 by Leeds in 1999.
London Broncos: Bryant, Colbon, Cook, Dorn, Fairbank, Fisher, Kaufusi, Krasniqi, Lee, Lloyd, McMeeken, Melling, O'Callaghan, Robertson, Rodney, Sarginson, Soward, Woodburn-Hall, Wheeldon.
Wigan: Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hansen, Hughes, McIlorum, Mossop, O'Loughlin, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, L. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Tuson.
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
2013 Challenge Cup semi-finals
Hull FC coach Peter Gentle praised Daniel Holdsworth after they reached Wembley with a 16-12 victory over Warrington.
Hull FC held off a late Warrington fight back to upset the odds and secure their place in the Challenge Cup final.
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane was 'ecstatic' after his side cruised into the Challenge Cup final.
- Wigan put Broncos to the sword
- Hull boss targets cup upset
- Morley confident of success
- Hull FC v Wolves: Teams
- O'Loughlin: No Lloyd favours
- Tomkins - Wigan ready for semi
- Underdog tag buoys Tickle
- Melling targets former club
- Bryant dreaming of Wembley
- Warriors haunted by cup shock
- Broncos legacy drives Soward
- Rea of hope