This time last year, Castleford Tigers signed Leeds Rhinos youngster Alex Sutcliffe who helped the Rhinos to the Challenge Cup in 2020 starting on the bench against Salford Red Devils in the Wembley win.
However, it is forgotten that this wasn’t the first big final that Sutcliffe played in as he played for Featherstone Rovers on dual registration as they made the million pound game against Toronto Wolfpack.
Sutcliffe is set to meet the Rovers in a Cas shirt in a local derby on New Year’s Eve.
Speaking on Tigers’ TV, he was clearly excited by the game: “Everyone is ready to go now.
“I loved it, it was a good year. The lads were class, it was class and the rugby was good. It will be a good atmosphere, they have a good following. Both sides should be quite vocal.
“It’s a big rivalry, they’re only 10 minutes apart. If it’s a good game, the atmosphere will be bouncing.”
It is a game that still holds a lot of meaning with the two teams as former Leeds Rhinos man Callum McLelland emphasised this on Castleford’s Twitter page.
“It will be an interesting experience, I am so excited to be able to play if I get chosen or not or if I am able to play or not.
“Growing up, if you’re from Cas you support Cas if you’re from Fev you support Fev. It will be a tasty one.”
Meanwhile, Craig Hall of Featherstone Rovers is equally excited by the prospect:
“Played against them quite a few times, but never for Featherstone but I have played in a Cas Wakefield derby.
“All the fans are excited for it, just good to get rugby back. It’s New Year’s Eve. I’ve never played on New Year’s Eve, I’ve played on Boxing Day, it makes you start playing a bit quicker before a couple more friendlies before the season starts.”
Featherstone will be hoping for meetings in the future if they can secure promotion in 2023.