Rugby League - Melling wants to get one over Wigan

Chris Melling will be one former Wigan player doing his best to prevent the Challenge Cup favourites reaching Wembley.

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Rugby League - Melling wants to get one over Wigan
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Chris Melling is determined to play in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley

The 28-year-old utility player made 10 Super League appearances for his home-town team before being released and joining London.

That was back in 2007 and Melling will be appearing in arguably the biggest match of his career when the Broncos seek to pull off a major shock in the first semi-final at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday.

"It is special when I play Wigan," he said. "There's that bit of you where you want to get one over your ex-team-mates and the club that released you for whatever reason.

"I still have friends there. It's more special than if we were playing someone else but, at the same time, it's a semi-final and that's enough.

"The recognition of the competition is unbelievable and we're 80 minutes away from reaching the final.

"I've really enjoyed my time down here and it's been a fantastic part of my life."

Melling, who was signed by London as a hooker but now switches between the threequarters and the back row of the pack, knows his side will go into the tie as one of the biggest underdogs in semi-final history.

He has made 13 Super League appearances this year and has yet to taste victory but he was in the side that knocked out Bradford and Sheffield in earlier rounds of the cup and believes Wigan could be vulnerable.

"Every year I've thought about playing at Wembley," he said. "It's what you aspire to do from when you're a kid.

"We've got the opportunity now. It's what we wanted to do at the start of the season.

"We need to hit the heights and we have 80 minutes on Saturday to achieve that dream.

"The club have been a little bit frustrated over the last few years and performances haven't matched expectations.

"As players and staff, that hurts a little bit so we have the opportunity to right some of those wrongs on Saturday.

"Wigan are favourites but you can see how the formbook goes out the window in every cup competition.

"Consistency week in week out in the league is obviously key but anything can happen in a one-off 80 minutes.

"That's the same for every sport - rugby, football. It's about who turns up in the right frame of mind."

Another Wigan-born player hoping to help cause an upset is Broncos winger Liam Colbon, who was in the Warriors side beaten 37-24 by Catalan Dragons in the last biggest semi-final upset in 2007.

Meanwhile, the Broncos' Australian prop Mark Bryant, 32, is hoping to bring down the curtain on his 12-year career with a Wembley appearance after announcing he will retire at the end of the season.

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