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Young Rhino up for the Challenge

EXCITED: Jones-Bishop

LEEDS RHINOS winger Ben Jones-Bishop is relishing the opportunity to play in Saturday’s (Aug 27) Challenge Cup final against last year’s Super League winners Wigan Warriors at Wembley Stadium.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan to Harlequins and therefore did not feature in the 2010 Challenge Cup final where Leeds were demolished 6-30 against the Warrington Wolves.

Now a regular fixture in the Rhinos line up, Jones-Bishop, who can also play at full-back, told the Voice of Sport:

“I’m very excited. It’s my first appearance (at Wembley) because Leeds played in the final last year but I was on loan so it’ll be my first occasion there and I’m very excited.”

Jones-Bishop explains that the aforementioned drubbing to Warrington has made Leeds even more determined to lift the Challenge Cup on the weekend.

“I think it’s a big incentive,” said Jones-Bishop.

“A lot of the players were disappointed with what happened at Wembley and thought that we didn’t play that well so it’s a big opportunity to put it right from last year.

“To me, it’s just strictly business to be honest. I’ve been to Wembley a few times before to watch American football. I’ve been there and had my day out so to speak. From a players point of view it’s just about going there, coming up with the goods and getting a victory.”

Lacking in first-team match practise, the Leeds native was sent on loan to London outfit Harlequins last year and Jones-Bishop credits that experience for enhancing his all-round game.

“I think just playing every week helped. I got plenty of games with them and got minutes on the pitch. The biggest way to improve is to play week in, week out and the coaching staff – Brian McDermott, who’s the coach of Leeds now, he was down there last year and he helped me and the current Harlequins coach Rob Powell, they both helped me a lot with my defensive side of my game.”


STRICTLY BUSINESS: The 22-year-old (left) celebrates scoring a try with his team-mates

“I was sent on loan to gain experience and to come back playing regularly in the Leeds team is a beauty. That’s happening at the minute but I’ve got to pull my weight. I can’t rely on others to help me out I’ve got to stand on my own two feet, prove that I can play for Leeds and stay in the team.”

Distinguishable due to the scrum cap that he was forced to wear after fracturing his skull in 2010 against Wigan, Jones-Bishop reckons that the game will be a great spectacle for not only both sets of fans but for the neutrals too.

He added: “In my opinion you’ve got two very good teams. Wigan are obviously the Super League champions from last year. They are in good form and we beat a team 56-0 recently so I think we’re coming in form at the minute. You’re going to have two in form teams.

“It’ll be a really entertaining game for the fans and for those who might not know much about the sport but either turn up or watch it on TV. I think it will be a good advertisement for rugby league.”

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