SHAUN Wane would prefer Leeds to edge today’s Challenge Cup Final - but doesn’t think the result is a foregone conclusion.
Bookmakers have made the Rhinos the heavy favourites to end their miserable run at the new Wembley this afternoon.
But the Warriors boss knows Castleford are capable of upsetting the odds, having dumped Wigan out of the competition in the quarter-finals.
“Leeds are my old club and I’ve still got some friends there, so I’d be happy for them if they won it,” said Wane, who had three seasons at Leeds from 1990.
“I think they’ll do it, but it will be a fantastic game. They are two really good teams and both have quality players.”
Castleford haven’t won the Cup since 1986. But Leeds – despite their Super League success – have a miserable recent record in Challenge Cup Finals.
They last lifted the trophy in 1999, and since then have lost six finals including three straight from 2010 to 2012.
“The media and the fans make it out to be something, but that won’t bother them,” said Wane.
As for his own players, Wigan have been given a long weekend break to recharge the batteries before the final three games of the regular Super League campaign, heading into the play-offs.
And Wane added: “This final will be tough for our players to watch.
“This will be a hard lesson for them and one I hope makes us tighter and stronger.”