Jake Connor was 'praying' Hull FC would draw Halifax in Challenge Cup semis

JAKE Connor admits he is disappointed even though he is preparing for a Challenge Cup semi-final – because he is not playing Halifax.

So he hopes to face them at Wembley after the biggest shock in the tournament’s history with them beating St Helens!

The Hull star still lives in the West Yorkshire town and has heard nothing apart from people talking about the Championship side’s path to the last four.

And the England ace himself let slip he would have loved to have been facing his home town team rather than Warrington.

Connor said: “I was absolutely praying to the Gods that it would be Halifax. I don’t really pray but I was praying for them.

“I’ve a few mates who are Halifax players and Hull v Halifax would be the dream final. They have St Helens but you can never write them off.

“I’ll play hoping to get to Wembley then hope to catch some of their game afterwards. I’ll be a Halifax fan in my head.”

Connor, 24, sees Hull third in Super League ahead of them facing the second-placed Wolves, who the Black and Whites beat in the 2016 final.

And having lined up with some of his opponents in an England shirt, he knows just how dangerous the likes of Chris Hill, Ben Currie and Daryl Clark can be.

He added: “Daz Clark is the biggest danger on the field. If Chris wins that ruck and then Daz comes, you’ve got a problem.”

Connor will have veteran star Gareth Ellis alongside him on Saturday after the former England star came out of retirement.

The 38-year-old thought big games were behind him when he lost the Super League semi-final at Leeds in 2017.

He said: “It’s a bit of a crazy thing. In 2017, I thought I’d given up all those opportunities to play in games like the one that’s coming up. I thought it was curtains.

“I’m trying to not put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy it. If I do that, I won’t enjoy it and there’s no point me playing.”

Ellis revealed his time out of the game taught him a lesson – why people do not go the gym.

Now he is back training fully again, he feels something back towards the man who became an NRL star during a stint at Wests Tigers.

Ellis added: “When I came back, I looked a totally different person as I’d not been doing any weights.

“Once you retire, you lose that motivation because the reason why you trained hard was to be better at rugby.

“It made me realise that old excuse of not going to the gym. I used to turn my nose up but I realised why people want to get home from work!”

Ellis may have spent more than a year out but he would be up for playing on in 2020.

He said: “I’ve spoken to the club about possibly playing next year. If I still fancy playing, why not?”

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