ROYCE Simmons is aiming to make an immediate impression by fulfilling a lifelong dream in his first season with the Engage Super League club.
Simmons has long craved to experience the thrill of a Challenge Cup final at a packed Wembley Stadium and the former Australia Test hooker will have his sights on just that goal when Saints set out on the Wembley trail with a home fourth round tie against Sheffield Eagles at Stobart Stadium on Saturday (3.00pm).
“To me personally the competition is very special,” said Simmons. “The Challenge Cup competition is one that I used get up to watch in the middle of the night as a kid back in Australia.
“When the Chairmen come out in their suits followed by the players in a stadium with nearly 100,000 people singing in such an intense atmosphere, it is something you dream of being part of.
“It is a game with massive history and everyone involved in Rugby League aspires to win the Challenge Cup.”
Sheffield, Cup winners in 1998, head to Stobart Stadium as underdogs but Simons is wise enough not to take the Co-operative Championship side for granted.
“I see it as a danger game,” he said. “The players have just come off the back of a very hard week and the last three matches have been really challenging. Then you play a side in the division below and you can easily fall into the trap of underestimating the game.
“If we don’t get off to a positive start and treat them with the respect that they deserve we will be in trouble. I imagine over the years there have been some big falls to teams in the lower divisions.
“You have to remember that you have a side coming to play the joint leaders in the Super League and a club with lots of history so they have nothing to lose. They just want to come and play, they probably have a few young players that want to prove they are good enough to play in the Super League so they will be aiming to make an impression.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round contest between St Helens and Sheffield Eagles at the Stobart Stadium Widnes cost £10 adult and £5 concessions and can be purchased at here or by calling 01744 751419.
Tickets can also be bought on the day.