Rested up Andy Lynch is raring to go and aiming to put his vast Challenge Cup experience to good use for his hometown team on Sunday.
Lynch has played in no less than six semi-finals in his time with Cas, Bradford Bulls and Hull FC – and only last year he was in the Hull side that went to Wembley.
The ultra consistent prop – put forward as a Man of Steel contender by head coach Daryl Powell recently – is now a key member of the Cas side again and is in good shape for this Sunday’s match against Widnes Vikings, having been rested from last Sunday’s game against London.
He said: “I feel as fresh as I have in a long time at this time of the week. It’s good to have a rest and I’m looking forward to getting back and playing at the weekend.
“It’s going to be a real physical battle in the middle and they’ve got some quality backs as well so we know we’ve got to be on our game from the first to the 80th minute to compete and get the result we want.
“It’s a massive thing for the club and the town to get to Wembley and one to 17 we’ve got to be on the ball because it’s a big challenge for us this week. We need everyone at 100 per cent and we’ve got to be on our game defensively.
“We will be without a few players, but we’ve had a squad all year where anyone looking to come in has done a great job. We have got strength in depth in there and have faith in whoever comes in. It’s an opportunity for them to prove that they’re worth their spot in the team.
“When someone does come in and play well they get the place for the following weekend and we have had competition for places. If you don’t perform you’re out. That’s the sort of competition we want and it brings out the best in us.”
Lynch knows what it takes to win a big semi-final.
He said: “I’ve played in six semi-finals and you’ve got to take your chance when it comes.
“It’s a one-off game with a big prize at the end of it. Nerves can get to people I suppose and it’s about who can relax most on the day and show composure.
“Whoever turns up with the best attitude and game plan on the day can win it.
“Experience can be important, just to stay calm. We need to stick to our game plan, don’t get rattled and deliver it for 80 minutes.”
Lynch has been combining playing this season with a well deserved testimonial that has involved a number of events throughout the summer.
He says it has kept him busy and he has really enjoyed it.
He added: “There’s plenty of stuff going on and it keeps me busy away from training.
“The next event is a two-day summer camp at Kippax Welfare next week. I’ve got 100 kids booked on that already and it will be great if we can win on Sunday. There’s some of the lads who have said they will help me out, let’s hope the weather’s good.”