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|Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final – Wigan v Salford|
|Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium Date: Sunday, 30 July Kick-off: 14:30 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Manchester and online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.|
Wigan Warriors will have Joel Tomkins and Liam Farrell available as they take on Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Tomkins and Farrell had been sidelined through injury and replace Callum Field and Jack Wells in the 19-man squad.
Salford, appearing in their first semi-final since 1998, have included half-back Robert Lui and hope he can shake off an ankle problem.
New signings Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy are set for debuts.
Wigan hold the record for most Challenge Cup wins and will be aiming to win their 20th title, whereas Salford have not reached the final since 1969.
Shaun Wane’s Warriors beat Swinton in the sixth round before setting up their meeting with Salford by beating Warrington 27-26.
Meanwhile, Salford beat Toronto Wolfpack in the fifth round and Hull KR in the sixth before they beat Wakefield in the quarter-final last month to reach the semis.
Wigan (from): Bateman, Burgess, Clubb, Davies, Farrell, Gelling, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, McIlorum, Nu’uausala, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sutton, Tautai, J Tomkins, S Tomkins, Williams.
Salford (from): Murdoch-Masila, Kopczak, Johnson, Griffin, Bibby, Jones, Sa’u, Welham, Tasi, L Tomkins, Vatuvei, Dobson, Evalds, Krasniqi, Lui, Lannon, Carney, McCarthy, Hauraki.
Referee: James Child
BBC Radio Manchester’s Jack Dearden
Not many Wigan fans mention Sheffield Eagles with any degree of fondness, after they beat the Warriors in one of the biggest Challenge Cup upsets of all time in 1998.
What’s been forgotten by many is that the Eagles played and beat a much-fancied Salford side in the semi-final on their way to Wembley.
At the time Salford went into the game as favourites but failed, suffering a devastating defeat, one that some would argue they still haven’t recovered from.
For me the roles are reversed on Sunday. Wigan will start as the bookies’ favourites, and rightly so as Salford are in a run of poor form.
That’s in contrast to Wigan, who, with injured players returning, are beginning to look a lot more like serious challengers.
Salford have just finished in their highest league position for almost 40 years, leading owner Marwan Koukash to say “considering where we were last year, where we are now is a dream”.
But beware – rugby league’s Challenge Cup has the capability to turn dreams into nightmares.
‘We can’t let the occasion overwhelm us’
Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio Manchester:
“We were quite lucky when we played at their place this season. It’s one a piece but I think they’ve had the upper hand.
“If there’s one team who can challenge Castleford, who are the best team in the competition, it’s Salford. They’re a good team and this is 80 minutes and it means everything to both teams.
“It’s two teams going at it and the best team will win.”
Salford Red Devils half-back Todd Carney told BBC Radio Manchester:
“Sometimes you get a bad run and last season we were 10 seconds away from being relegated so it’s definitely a big jump. Hopefully we can continue that run come Sunday.
“It’s a tight-knit group who’ve been here a couple of years and Ian Watson’s done a great job, we’re playing the way he wants to.
“We can’t let the occasion overwhelm us because it’s a huge occasion against a strong Wigan outfit.”
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