CHRIS Chester will exorcise the 'traumatic' memories from his last Betfred Challenge Cup Final appearance to ensure Leigh Leopards are perfectly prepared for the club’s biggest game in more than half a century.

As a player, Chester came off the bench to help Hull FC beat Leeds Rhinos 25-24 at Cardiff in the 2005 final.

Ten years later he was in charge as Hull KR lost 50-0 to the Rhinos at Wembley - the widest margin of defeat in a Betfred Challenge Cup showpiece.

Now, he’s heading to the capital once again, this time completing a hat-trick of roles as Leopards’ director of rugby.

“In terms of our preparations it has been based around what I got wrong in 2015,” admitted Chester.

“From the point of view of hotel and training venue we are good to go.

“We had an agreement with St Helens in terms of the hotel venue that whoever won the semi-final would be based there.

“In 2015, we trained at Wasps and the facilities weren’t great. We expected use of the first team pitch and got stuck out on something like pitch 15. We would have been better training in East Hull.

“I made the mistake of working training around the schedule instead of the other way round.

“We had an official request for the head coach and captain to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph.

“When we got there Jamie Jones-Buchanan had turned up for Leeds (plus CEO Gary Hetherington) and he was out injured for the season.

“Because of that we got stuck in training getting back. I should have put what was important to us first.

“The game itself was just one too far. I have put it to the back of my mind and not gone over it too much - until Tom Briscoe mentions it!

“In 2005, our preparation was a million miles away from what I did. John Kear did a great job of protecting the players and we had a fantastic, fun week.”

Chester, however, has hardly put a foot wrong since his Leopards’ appointment in September 2021.

But he admits: “I never imagined we would be in the position we are now.

“It’s been a great journey and we are just going to enjoy the moment because the club and the owner have been through a lot in the last 10 years or so.”

Despite his Rovers sacking in February 2016, Chester remains on good terms with owner Neil Hudgell.

“I texted Neil and Mike Smith (ex-chief executive) after their semi-final win over Wigan. I am pleased for Neil because he was desperately disappointed in 2015. We both have a few demons we need to get rid of.”