FEATHERSTONE Rovers winger Tommy Saxton is relishing playing against his hometown club Castleford in Saturday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Bigfellas Stadium.
Born and bred in Castleford, Saxton (pictured) can’t wait to take on the team he started his career with and the powerful winger, a 2005 Challenge Cup final winner with Hull FC, is hoping to prove a point.
“Out of all the teams to play in the fourth round I was hoping for Castleford,” said Saxton. “Not only for personal reasons but it’s great for the club as well. Hopefully it will be a sell-out crowd and the atmosphere will be fantastic, I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m glad we’re at home as I think the crowd will be an extra man out there for us and help intimidate the Castleford players. I played for Cas a long time ago but it would be nice to get the win and prove my mates who are Tigers fans wrong.
“Realistically it’s going to be a tough match, they are full time and that can play a big part. But if they play their best and we play our best on the day then who knows what will happen with the magic of the Cup.”
A surprising twist of fate during Saxton’s spell at Hull FC saw him pick up a Challenge Cup winners medal in 2005 when he was drafted into the squad 24 hours before the final when Shaun Briscoe fell ill.
Hull FC’s victory saw Saxton join his uncle Alan Banks as a Challenge Cup winner – Banks played stand-off for Featherstone in their 1983 Wembley win against Hull FC - and he’ll be hoping he can be part of a Featherstone side that causes another cup upset this weekend.
“I travelled as part of the squad to Cardiff, I think I was 18th man,” said Saxton.
“The day before the game Shaun was ruled out with an injury and on the morning of the final John Kear told me I was on the bench.
“I get quite nervous before games so in a way it was good that I only found out on the morning. I came on for the last 20 minutes or so and we ended up winning the game.
“When the final whistle went and I realised we had won it was surreal, I couldn’t believe it. It was a very special feeling.
“We’re concentrating on the Castleford game and not letting ourselves get carried away but it would be nice for history to repeat itself and for Featherstone to win the final and for me to win the Challenge Cup once again.”