McDermott - McGuire loss will spur us on

PA Sport
Danny McGuire will miss the Challenge Cup final with a knee injury
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Danny McGuire will miss the Challenge Cup final with a knee injury

Leeds players have an added motivation to win a first Challenge Cup final in 13 years after playmaker Danny McGuire was ruled out of the Wembley showpiece.

The 29-year-old has been told he will be out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury suffered in Friday's win over Widnes. As a result, he will sit out his side's date with Warrington a week on Saturday and could also be a doubt for the end-of-season play-off campaign.

"While it won't be in their minds all the time, there'll be nothing better than handing him a medal at the end of it and taking photos with his brace on and the trophy," coach Brian McDermott said.

"That's what you think about if you get the job done. They got on really well the players, they're a good and tight group and they will all have him as a form of motivation."

Leeds head to the final chasing a first win in six appearances after their 1999 victory over London, motivated by the need to add a Challenge Cup success to their five Super League titles.

McGuire, who is Super League's joint-top all-time tryscorer, has been a pivotal player for the Rhinos this season, scoring 20 tries in 23 appearances. His form has helped them shed the inconsistencies that dogged the early days of their title defence and with that in mind, his loss will be felt all the more.

"It's big, he was going to have a good go. He was in the right frame of mind. We've been through a process and he was a part of that. It's tragic. I bet he's feeling wretched. I can't tell you how he's feeling, but I can imagine," McDermott added.

"It's a big thing for him, it's been bad news. I can only imagine what it's like to have a Challenge Cup final appearance snatched from him."

McDermott is hopeful, though, that with a quick recovery, he will be able to call on the England international again in 2012.

"We've got four weekends of the regular season left and we've been told it's a six-to-eight week injury," he said. "If our physios can weave their magic, it could be a five-to-seven week injury and he could be back for the play-offs."

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