Challenge Cup: Hull FC v Wigan Warriors - Gareth Ellis battling his emotions

Hull's Gareth Ellis celebrates his side's Challenge Cup win in 2016
Hull's Gareth Ellis celebrates his side's Challenge Cup win in 2016
2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final - Hull FC v Wigan Warriors, Wembley Stadium (15:00 BST)
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Hull captain Gareth Ellis will be fighting a battle with his own emotions when he leads his side out in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

The forward, 36, has recently revealed he will quit the game at the end of this season after a glittering career. But he is determined not to get carried away by the occasion.

"You've every right to get a little excited. I want to go out there, I want to enjoy it and I want to take it all in," said Ellis.

"But I know the difference between winning and losing so it's important that I'm disciplined enough to get the balance right."

Ellis is retiring after 18 years as one of British rugby league's most successful players.

After starting his career at Wakefield, he moved to Leeds before switching to the NRL and West Tigers in 2009, winning that club's player of the year award three years running. His return to Hull saw him lead the club to a first ever Wembley final win last year.

Gareth Ellis in action for West Tigers in the NRL
Ellis left Leeds for West Tigers in the NRL in 2009, spending three seasons with the Australian side

"People ask me about games gone by, and I really can't remember because you're constantly trying to be better, you're constantly moving on from one game to the next.

"It will be nice when I do eventually finish. I can have a little bit of a reflection of 'oh, that was good'."

Ellis' first memory of rugby league's oldest knockout trophy was on his fifth birthday, watching home town team Castleford win at Wembley against Hull KR in 1986. But he never dreamed he would ever emulate his boyhood heroes.

"I remember Jamie Sandy scoring and just carrying on running over the dog track towards the fans.

"But I don't think I ever thought I would play at Wembley. I probably just thought 'I hope Cas can get there next year so I can watch them again'.

"So to get to the level that I've got to, and have the opportunities I've had, is quite remarkable really.

"I spoke last year about not knowing whether you are going to play in another one again, and here I am. This really is the last one."

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