Cockney Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to rock Wembley with St Helens in Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final against Warrington Wolves
- Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook will lineup for St Helens on Saturday at Wembley
- Saints are currently clear of the chasing pack at the top of Super League
- They’re heavy favourites for the Challenge Cup Final against the Wolves
With his chiselled jaw, bulging biceps and St Helens polo shirt, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook looks every inch the rugby league player.
Then in an accent foreign to the sport he tells how a Millwall fan from the Isle of Dogs comes to be in the Challenge Cup final against Warrington this afternoon.
‘It’s all down to a supply teacher from up north,’ the 33-year-old Cockney forward explains. ‘I always wanted to be a footballer but I was rubbish. I went to St Joseph’s Academy in Lewisham, a school so bad they had to close it down.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook will be looking to star for St Helens at Wembley on Saturday
McCarthy-Scarsbrook celebrates scoring a try against Wakefield Trinity earlier this month
But this guy Mr Hogg comes in, takes a look at me and tells me London Broncos are doing some trials.’ McCarthy-Scarsbrook (below) went along and immediately got involved in a dust-up. ‘I didn’t even know what rugby league was,’ he explains. ‘But I played, had a fight and they asked me to come back.’
Was he hooked by his first taste of action? ‘Not really. They started paying us £50 for a win and that’s why I done it. I realised that when we won I could get new trainers.’
In 2010, after plenty of new pairs and breaking through to the first team, St Helens came calling. ‘It was a massive difference,’ he says of those early days in Lancashire.
‘The best way to describe it is in London you can get away with anything as long as the police don’t catch you! Nobody knows who you are or cares.’ It is a different existence in St Helens. ‘Up north, you get caught down the biscuit aisle,’ he says, laughing.
St Helens Head Coach Justin Holbrook is looking to add to the club’s 12 Challenge Cup wins
‘People know who you are!’ Louie (below) will have more fans at Wembley than most, given the venue’s proximity to his roots. ‘I’ve bought 99 tickets,’ he explains. ‘Four and half grand! I’ve managed to get all of it back, so it’s not too bad.’
Saints are 14 points clear at the top of Super League and strong favourites this afternoon. McCarthy-Scarsbrook admits: ‘The bookies don’t tend to be wrong, do they? It is a cup game — but we are our own worst enemy at times. If we don’t give them a leg-up, we’ll be fine.’
On Saturday he will face an opponent who should not be on the field — for one very painful reason.
St Helens played Warrington on August 8 in Super League – St Helens won 30-12
Warrington’s Jack Hughes took a knock where no man wants to take a knock against Catalans Dragons this month.
He carried on with a ruptured testicle that required surgery in a French hospital that night. ‘I’ve had every joke you can think of,’ explains Hughes, who was soon back in training. ‘Nobody wants a whack in the jewels but we can all make light of it now.’
Warrington will need to end a losing run of five matches if they are to avoid a repeat of last season’s defeat in the final. ‘We’d like to have been playing better,’ admits Hughes. ‘But form is temporary and class is permanent.’
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