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No Austin in Wolves squad as fans turn out to cheer squad on to Wembley

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Pictures Eddie Whitham

BLAKE Austin is not in the Warrington Wolves squad for Saturday’s Challenge Cup final against St Helens at Wembley.

Austin, 28, was injured in the away game at Catalans and has apparently not been able to prove his fitness in time.

However, coach Steve Price has hinted that he will give the Australian until the captain’s run.

His 19-man squad doesn’t include Austin, though Warrington have added players on numerous occasions in recent weeks.

Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes, who were also injury doubts, do make the cut, with the unavailable Matty Smith and Lama Tasi making way.

Warrington will be out to avoid a seventh successive final defeat, having lost on their last two trips to Wembley in amongst their four Super League Grand Final defeats.

Fans turned out at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday lunchtime to wave off the team as it heads to London for the game that kicks off at 3pm on Saturday live on BBC.

Meanwhile The Rugby Football League today confirmed that the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final will be played on Saturday July 18 at Wembley Stadium.

The July date is available as a result of Wembley’s extensive involvement in the UEFA Euro 2020 football finals in June and July.

It will be the first time since 2004, when St Helens beat Wigan in Cardiff on May 15, that the Challenge Cup Final has not been staged in August.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Moving the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final to mid-July in 2020 presents us with a real opportunity to attract a capacity crowd for Rugby League’s showpiece event at Wembley. We wanted to give our supporters as much time as possible to plan for that.

“It means that Rugby League’s big weekend at Wembley will occur on the weekend after the final of the Euros and Wimbledon and the weekend before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, so a fantastic opportunity within the summer of sport next year.

“It will also be at a time when fewer people are away on holiday and we will be working hard over the next 11 months to make sports fans, families and event-goers aware of what an amazing event it is with such extraordinary athletes performing on the pitch.

“With the final being played during term time, it gives us a great opportunity to work with schools that play Rugby League, particularly focusing on the significant number of schools in London that play our sport.

“It will be the first time in the Challenge Cup’s 123-year history that the Final has been played in July, and we hope that Rugby League supporters will embrace that opportunity and help us make it a big success.”

The 118th Challenge Cup Final will be played this Saturday at Wembley Stadium (August 24th), with St Helens and Warrington Wolves, who have won the Cup a combined total of 20 times, from 38 final appearances, transporting their old local rivalry to London for the first time.

The match will be preceded by the Warners Champion Schools Year 7 Boys Final between Standish High School from Wigan and Great Sankey High School from Warrington in the Steven Mullaney Memorial Match.

And this year, for the first time, there will be a third match at Wembley on Challenge Cup Final day after Saints have played Warrington, with Sheffield Eagles facing Widnes Vikings in the first final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – a new competition for non-Super League clubs.

Warrington 19-man squad: Akauola, Charnley, D Clark, J Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Livett, Mamo, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Westwood.

 

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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