Challenge Cup: Widnes captain Jon Clarke looking forward to semi-final clash with Castleford

Last Updated: 06/08/14 10:28am

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Jon Clarke: Widnes captain preparing for Challenge Cup semi-final showdown with Castleford

Jon Clarke: Widnes captain preparing for Challenge Cup semi-final showdown with Castleford

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Widnes captain Jon Clarke believes his experience could be a crucial factor in Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Castleford at Leigh Sports Village.

The Vikings will be bidding to reach Wembley for the first time since 1993, but Clarke was a member of the Warrington team that defeated Leeds in the 2010 Challenge Cup final.

The 35-year-old hooker, who is due to retire at the end of the season, said: "We can all get excited about it for our own personal reasons, but this is really about the club.

"If you asked people at the start of the season which four teams would be in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, I don't think they'd put Widnes or Castleford in there - particularly ourselves. So this is brilliant for the club.

"Just to reach the semi-final is a big achievement and if we can put on a good performance and go one extra as well, getting to Wembley, it would be just fantastic.

"It has been a long time since the last Wembley trip for the fans, so it would be nice to get them down there.

"We just need a bit of composure and I think that is probably where my role will come in most - Kev (Kevin Brown) and Tick (Danny Tickle) as well, players who have had experience of Challenge Cup finals and that sort of thing.

"It is just about keeping your composure and holding your nerve in what will be quite a pressurised container at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

"My job will be to lead the team in the right way, play well myself and just keep our composure, making sure we can perform and do the things we need to under pressure."

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