Date: Saturday, 16 May
Venue: Headingley Stadium
Leeds 19 man squad: Hardaker, Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sutcliffe, McGuire, Cuthbertson, Burrow, Singleton, S Ward, Ablett, Delaney, Aiton, Peacock, Achurch, Jones-Buchanan, Sinfield, Leuluai.
Huddersfield 19 man squad: Grix, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, Ellis, Crabtree, Wood, Huby, Hughes, Wardle, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Kopczak, Mullally, Ferres, Leeming, Roberts.
Last Five Meetings
Huddersfield 24-24 Leeds – Round 13, 2015
Leeds 28-24 Huddersfield – Round 3, 2015
Leeds 22-24 Huddersfield – Round 16, 2014
Huddersfield 12-12 Leeds – Round 4, 2014
Huddersfield 40-18 Leeds – Round 19, 2013
Leeds begin the defence of their Challenge Cup crown on Saturday afternoon when they host Huddersfield in arguably the biggest tie of the sixth round.
The Giants are unbeaten in their last four games and a 19-0 win over Salford last Friday helped tighten their grip on fourth spot in the table.
Super League leaders Leeds have struggled in recent weeks following a blip in form which has seen them take just one point from their last three matches.
That point came against Huddersfield a fortnight ago, where a late penalty from stand-off Liam Sutcliffe rescued a point in a dramatic 24-24 draw; a game which Leeds were winning 22-8 at the break.
Huddersfield boast an impressive record over their Yorkshire counterparts in recent years and have only lost one of the last nine encounters between the sides. That defeat came in February as Leeds won 28-24 in the league at Headingley and the Rhinos will be hoping for a repeat outcome this weekend.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott is boosted by the return of Ryan Hall following his absence in recent weeks with a fractured wrist. The winger was awarded the Lance Todd trophy in last year’s final following a man-of-the-match display and has missed the Rhinos’ last five fixtures.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Kylie Leuluai are also named in the 19-man squad following long-term injury lay-offs but may not be risked by McDermott.
Jimmy Keinhorst and youngster Josh Walters miss out.
For the Giants Brett Ferres is named in their squad for the first time since Easter after recovering from a serious ankle injury.
Former Castleford players Craig Huby and Jamie Ellis are both named by head coach Paul Anderson and will be looking to go one better this season with their new club and win the competition.
Prediction: It will be close but Leeds should just edge it. The Rhinos by 6.
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