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Yorkshire derby in Challenge Cup Final

The teams for the Challenge Cup Final, Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers set off for London today.

For the Rhinos it is a well-travelled route having reached the final four times in the last five years. For the Tigers it is their first appearance in the Wembley showpiece since 1992.

But for both, its a chance to lift the first silverware of the season as Grace Melody-Gardner reports:

Bramall Lane to host Challenge Cup replay

This weekend's all-Yorkshire Challenge Cup Final between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers is expected to be a close encounter.

Bramall Lane to host Challenge Cup replay
Bramall Lane to host Challenge Cup replay

In preparation, organisers have already announced that should the scores finish level, Sheffield United's Bramall Lane will be used to host a replay between the sides on 3 September.

This year’s final is expected to be a close encounter, with the two teams drawing 24-24 in a First Utility Super League fixture at Leeds in July and the Rhinos only beating Castleford by eight points back in May.

The last time a Challenge Cup final went to a replay was the 1982 final between Hull FC and Widnes, when the original game at Wembley ended deadlocked at 14-14. The replay was staged to Elland Road, the home of Leeds United, and finished in a Hull FC victory, 18-9.

the most famous replay in Rugby League history was the Challenge Cup final replay held at Odsal Stadium in Bradford in 1954, which is well known for its attendance of over 102,000 supporters.

The game ended with a score line of 8-4 in favour of Warrington, who had drawn 4-4 with Halifax in the original final.

The last time Castleford and Leeds met in the Challenge Cup was in the 2011 semi-finals when once again the final score was extremely close, finishing in a 10-8 victory for the Rhinos.

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Tigers' Millington could miss rest of the season

Castleford forward Grant Millington will miss the Tigers' Challenge Cup semi-final and possibly the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained in last week's Super League draw at Hull.

Grant Millington could miss the rest of the season
Grant Millington could miss the rest of the season Credit: Press Association

The loss of the ball-handling Australian is a major blow for the Tigers, who have also lost second-rower Weller Hauraki to a two-match suspension. Millington, who has been an ever-present in Castleford's impressive Super League campaign so far this year after producing his best form for the club, is facing a six-week spell on the sidelines which would also rule him out of a trip to Wembley if the Tigers overcome Widnes on Sunday week.

The news is disappointing for both the team and for Grant personally but our medical staff will be working exceptionally hard to get Grant back as soon as possible.

– Daryl Powell, Castleford Tigers coach

Obviously I'm really disappointed with the injury. It's always frustrating to have any time out from playing but to be told I will miss the biggest game of the year so far in the Challenge Cup semi-final was pretty hard to take. I'll be working hard with the medical staff and doing everything that I can over the next few weeks to get back on the playing field as quickly as possible.

– Grant Millington

Powell says the club are considering appealing the ban on Hauraki, who was found guilty of using his knees in the tackle during the game at the KC Stadium.

Hauraki charged over Abdull clash

Castleford's Weller Hauraki could miss his club's Challenge Cup semi-final after being charged with a grade C offence by the Rugby Football League's match review panel.

Castleford's Weller Hauraki charged over Abdull clash
Castleford's Weller Hauraki charged over Abdull clash Credit: Dave Howarth/DAH Sports Images/Press Association Images

Hauraki is accused if striking with his knees in a clash with Hull's Jordan Abdull in the Rigers' 18-18 Super League draw at the KC Stadium on Thursday July 24, 2014. The 29-year-old was not penalised by the incident was put on report. Hauraki will appear in front of a disciplinary panel on Tuesday and faces a two-to-three match suspension if found guilty.

Jewitt extends Castleford contract

Castleford Tigers’ prop Lee Jewitt has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle until at least the end of the 2016 First Utility Super League season.

Lee Jewitt extends Tigers' contract
Lee Jewitt extends Tigers' contract Credit: Press Association

The 27-year-old, who was released by Salford last season, moved to Castleford from French side Limoux, having previously played at Wigan Warriors. He has made seven appearances this season.

Castleford Tigers has come a long way in the past 12 months. This is the best club I have ever been at by far, and I am really impressed with the set up and the way we play. I am really enjoying my time here.

– Lee Jewitt

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Plans submitted for new Castleford Tigers stadium

What the stadium will look like Credit: Lateral Property Group

A planning application has been submitted for a new stadium for the Castleford Tigers.

The multi-million pound 'Five Towns Park' development would also see the creation of a retail park and a country park close to junction 32 of the M62,

It's thought the £135 million development will create 2,000 jobs at the retail park and many more through construction.

Retail giant Next has already signed up to having a Home and Garden store at the site.

Thousands of jobs would be created at the retail park Credit: Lateral Property Group

Castleford sign Samoa star Roberts

Castleford have announced the signing of Ben Roberts from Melbourne Storm on a two-year deal from the start of 2015.

Ben Roberts will move at the start of the 2015 season
Ben Roberts will move at the start of the 2015 season Credit: Press Association

The 28-year-old, who has played over 130 games in the NRL, will link up with the Tigers over the winter, with an option to stay for a third year at the end of his contract.

I heard nothing but good things about the club, and they came from people who had played there in the past." said Roberts, who represented Samoa in last year's World Cup.

Tigers coach Daryl Powell, who tried to get Roberts on board last year when he left the Parramatta Eels, was delighted to have finally got his man.

"I am delighted to sign Ben, who is a player we tried to sign last season before his move to Melbourne," Powell said.

"His qualities are ideally suited to the First Utility Super League in England, with his strength, speed and agility a massive part of his game. His left-footed kicking game is another aspect that will dovetail neatly into the squad for next year."

New Tigers contract for Finn

Castleford have rewarded Liam Finn for his impressive start to life as a Super League player by giving him a new contract.

Liam Finn Credit: Press Association

The Ireland captain signed from Featherstone in the winter, getting his top-flight chance late in his career after several seasons in the Championship.

The 30-year-old half-back has excelled for the Tigers so far, assisting 13 tries in their climb to third place in the table.

As a result his deal has been extended to the end of 2016 with an option for a further season.

Castleford sign former Wigan and Salford prop

Castleford have announced the signing of former Wigan and Salford prop Lee Jewitt for the rest of the season.

Jewitt signs for Tigers
Jewitt signs for Tigers Credit: Press Association

The 27-year-old forward has been playing for Limoux since being released by Salford at the end of last term and his deal is subject to clearance from the French federation.

Jewitt, who is due to arrive from France on Tuesday, will bolster the Tigers' forward ranks following the loss through injury of Ryan Boyle, who is out for the campaign after being told he needs a knee re-construction, Nathan Massey and Dan Fleming.

Oldham-born Jewitt began his career at Wigan in 2005 before moving two years later to Salford, for whom he made over 100 Super League and Challenge Cup appearances.

"The release from Salford was a blessing in disguise," Jewitt said. " I've learnt a lot about myself out here away from Super League.

"Playing Super League week in, week out is the best life ever but I was at Salford for a long time so it's refreshed me to get out of that environment and try something new. It's been a good life experience and it's been good for my wife and children.

"The Elite Championship is their top division and it's probably on par or a little bit of a better standard to our Championship."

Castleford coach Daryl Powell
Castleford coach Daryl Powell Credit: Press Association

Castleford coach Daryl Powell said: "I am delighted that we have been able to secure the services of Lee, a player who I tried to sign at the end of last season.

"He's a tough and uncompromising player who will add strength and depth to our forward pack at a crucial time of the season."

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