UMYLA Hanley has seen first-hand what it takes to win the Betfred Challenge Cup at Wembley.

But he’d gladly swap his back-to-back appearances as a non-playing member of Wigan and Leigh’s victorious squads to step on the turf himself.

This Saturday, Hanley, 24, hopes to make a third successive first team appearance when the holders begin their defence of the trophy by hosting troubled Championship side, Featherstone Rovers for a quarter-final place (kick-off 2pm).

Winger Tom Briscoe’s calf injury has provided Hanley with his chance which he is determined to maximise.

“It is unfortunate for Tom,” said Hanley, a try scorer in the recent home defeat to Leeds Rhinos and last Saturday’s 54-4 rout of Hull FC. “But all pre-season I trained hard and waited for an opportunity.

“When it comes you have got to take it with both hands and that’s what I am trying to do.

“’Lammy sets the outside backs certain goals in terms of metres gained and defensive effort.

“It is not just about try scoring; as a winger you are expected to finish tries.”

In an ideal world Hanley would prefer a centre spot. He played in that position last season when the Leopards eventually overcame York City Knights despite going down to 11-men at one stage.

Leigh then defeated St Helens in the semi-finals before Lachlan Lam dropped a golden point goal to defeat Hull KR in the final.

“It was an unreal experience and I did the same thing with Wigan (against Huddersfield) the previous year,” he said of the club’s historic Wembley experience.

“The whole weekend was fantastic. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot. The rest of the non-playing squad had a great time watching the lads and supporting them.

“But it makes you strive to play even more when you see your team mates play in games like that and win the cup.”

Leigh are hot favourites to heap more misery on their Championship visitors who stunned Wakefield in the previous round and opened their league campaign with a 24-20 win at Batley.

However, those performances have been overshadowed by reports of the club’s financial plight and impending resignation of chairman, Mark Campbell.

The tie could have meant a reunion with his former Leigh team mates for Ben Reynolds. But after signing for Rovers and being named skipper, Reynolds, who kicked four goals at Wembley last August, has joined Hull KR on a two-year deal.

Leigh will still be without Briscoe, John Asiata and Edwin Ipape with Wembley hero Lam likely to be given more time to recover from a gashed leg.

The quarter-final draw will take place at 8.45pm on BBC Radio Five Live on Monday, March 25.

*Taylor swift tribute act, Totally Taylor, will provide pre match entertainment.

*Toryn Blackwood scored a consolation try as Leigh Leopards lost 52-4 in their opening Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup tie at Twist Lane. Isla Aspden, who was taken to hospital, was later discharged without serious injury.

This Sunday, Leopards entertain Huddersfield Giants in another group game, kick-off 2pm.