MCGUIRE BACKS OLD BOYS FOR CUP

East Leeds captain Steve Parnell and Leeds Rhinos international ace Danny McGuire are both preparing for major dates in their Rugby League careers.

East Leeds captain Steve Parnell and Leeds Rhinos international ace Danny McGuire are both preparing for major dates in their Rugby League careers. Parnell, 27, is helping prepare the East Leeds team for their Carnegie Challenge Cup Preliminary Round showdown with neighbours Hunslet Old Boys on Saturday while Danny is part of the Rhinos team who will be staring the defence of their engage Super league crown and bidding to beat Melbourne Storm in next month’s 2008 Carnegie World Club Challenge. But not many years ago Steve and Danny were regular rivals. Steve explains: "Danny and I grew up in the same part of Leeds and we used to play Rugby against each other most nights of the week. "Our matches would see me and my brother Jamie and playing Danny with his brother Adam on the patch of grass outside my mum’s house". While Danny joined Leeds, Steve joined Hunslet Hawks in 1997 but left to return to amateur Rugby League when they Hawks failed to gain admission into the Super League following their National League Grand Final win. Leeds Rhinos star Danny McGuire said: "I’d like to wish East Leeds all the best for the Carnegie Challenge Cup. I will actually have a foot in both camps having played for Hunslet Boys Club when I was younger but I will definitely be backing the lads from East Leeds." Today Steve is not only a utility back for East Leeds, who play in the elite National Conference First Division, but also a member of the club’s back room staff because he helps coach their teams through from Under Eleven age group through to the Under 15 year old players. "It’s difficult to say who will win on Saturday," explained Steve. "We’re really struggling with injuries at the moment and up to eight of our regular first team players, including me, are out of action. "You never can tell what’s going to happen in ‘derby’ matches like these because there’s that traditional rivalry between Leeds and Hunslet to take into consideration. "There’s so much pride and passion at stake and it’s really down to what happens on the day". Parnell is the first to admit that East Leeds don’t know that much about the Old Boys. He added: "They play in the Yorkshire League and, to be honest, it’s a big step into the unknown for us. "We know that they’re going well this season and they’re going to provide us with a tough task". Hunslet Old Boys are the reigning CMS Yorkshire League Champions and they warmed up to face Easts by knocking BARLA National Cup holders Halton Simms Cross out of this year’s National Cup competition last weekend. Meanwhile injury-hit Easts are on the ropes lying last in NCL Division One with just one win in 15 league outings this season. It’s just the perfect mix for a tough Leeds area derby game with far more than bragging rights up for grabs. Expected to be key men for Easts are stand off and captain for the day Simon Price, who played professionally with both Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers; scrum half Andy Corbett; full-back Joe Sheldrake and prop forward Glen Holroyd.