Rugby League - Crooks in line for Wembley run-out

Hull's exciting centre Ben Crooks is in line to make a shock return from injury for the Tetley's Challenge Cup final against Wigan at Wembley on Saturday.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Crooks in line for Wembley run-out
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Ben Crooks is set to play at Wembley

The 20-year-old, son of former Hull and Great Britain international Lee Crooks, was initially expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering ankle ligament damage against Bradford a month ago.

However, Crooks underwent successful surgery and, after resuming full training at the start of the week, was included in coach Peter Gentle's 19-man squad which set off for London.

A front-runner for Super League's Young Player of the Year award after scoring 20 tries in 21 appearances, Crooks' availability is a significant boost for the Black and Whites after his replacement, Joe Arundel, was ruled out with a broken hand.

Crooks' father Lee and uncle Steve Norton both played for Hull in the classic 1985 Wembley final against Wigan.

Former Great Britain centre Kirk Yeaman, a survivor from Hull's last cup-winning team in 2005, has shaken off an ankle injury while former Bradford winger Jason Crookes is in line to make his Wembley debut after first choice Tom Lineham lost his battle to overcome an ankle injury.

Long-serving utility player Richard Horne was also included in the initial squad, raising the possibility of him making another unexpected final appearance.

Horne, 31, has not played since sustaining a foot injury in May but he was out for more than four months in 2008 through injury and illness before earning a shock recall for the final against St Helens.

His call-up provides the only selection conundrum for Gentle, who must decide between the vast experience of Horne or the raw talent of promising youngster Jamie Shaul as the replacement for injured full-back Shannon McDonnell.

Australian second rower Ben Galea is their only other absentee, with prop Mark O'Meley returning after missing last week's win over Salford, most likely in place of youngster Chris Green.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane named a full-strength squad before they set off for the capital by train.

As expected, captain Sean O'Loughlin and centre Darrell Goulding both return after missing last week's defeat by Catalan Dragons, with Anthony Gelling dropping out of the squad.

Dom Crosby and Jack Hughes are expected to be the players to make way when Wane finalises his line-up.

Hull 19-man squad: T Briscoe, J Crookes, B Crooks, G Ellis (capt), C Green, A Heremaia, R Horne, D Holdsworth, D Houghton, A Lynch, J Miller, M O'Meley, J Pitts, J Shaul, D Tickle, L Watts, J Westerman, R Whiting, K Yeaman.

Wigan 19-man squad: J Charnley, D Crosby, G Dudson, L Farrell, B Flower, D Goulding, B Green, H Hansen, J Hughes, M McIlorum, L Mossop, S O'Loughlin (capt), P Richards, M Smith, S Taylor, I Thornley, L Tomkins, S Tomkins, C Tuson.

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