Matt Parcell is relishing the chance to play at Wembley for the first time and in his maiden Challenge Cup final this weekend.
Parcell’s Hull KR will take on Leigh in the decider, following the women’s Challenge Cup final.
A Super League grand final winner with Leeds at Old Trafford in 2017, the hooker has never played at Wembley before and is eager to experience one of the most famous stadiums in the world.
His parents have flown over from Brisbane to see him compete on the hallowed turf.
“I’ve never been yet so it’s always been a goal to get there,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“It took four semi-finals [two with Leeds, two with Hull KR], but we got there. I wasn’t thinking I was cursed, I just had to keep trying.
“But when it got late in that second half [against Wigan], when it got to golden point I thought is this the one?”
Parcell is one of the senior members at the Robins after joining the club from the Rhinos in 2019.
The 30-year-old has played more than 80 games for the red and white and has found a home at Craven Park.
Hull KR made the semi-finals in 2021, have now reached their first Challenge Cup final since 2015 and pushing hard for another playoff berth this season.
— Hull KR (@hullkrofficial) August 11, 2023
“It’s been really good,” the Australian said.
“The key to having a good team is having a good group. We’ve got a good bunch of guys who get on together, and we definitely have that at Hull KR and that’s what’s built with the success.
“Obviously Willie’s come in and a few other boys have come in and added to it, but there’s a core group of guys who work really hard for each other and that’s a big plus.”
Parcell has only missed two of the Robins’ 21 Super League games this season, crossing for two tries and setting up seven others.
“I feel like I’m playing very well so I’m excited to get to the weekend,” he said.
“Especially the last few games, I feel like I’m in pretty good form.”
The forward expects a difficult against the Leopards, who are in-form and enjoying their own resurgence.
“Leigh have been playing really well,” he said.
“They’re ahead of us on the ladder, they played really well the last time we played them.
“They beat us pretty convincingly, so it’s up to us to rectify that and we won’t take them lightly because of that.
“In general they’ve had a really good year, so it’s going to be good. I think everyone’s excited that it’s two teams that maybe not everyone expected at the start of the year to be there, so that’s added to it.”