How Adam Clune hopes Andrew Johns will help him guide Huddersfield Giants to Challenge Cup glory

He's been coached by one of rugby league’s greatest and now Huddersfield’s Adam Clune is getting a quickfire Challenge Cup lesson. The Aussie scrum-half has made a big impact for Giants in his first Super League season after arriving from NRL’s Newcastle Knights.

He hopes to fire them to Wembley in Sunday’s Cup semi-final against Warrington. And after being taken under the wing of legendary ex-Kangaroos No7 Andrew Johns at Newcastle, Clune has a real bag of tricks to call upon.

On being coached by the two-time Golden Boot winner, he recalled: “I picked up plenty. First of all I grew up watching him as I was a Newcastle fan.

“To get the opportunity to do sessions with him and get coached with him was really cool. Everyone who knows rugby league knows what sort of player Andrew Johns was. He’s held in such high regard for good reason and watching him in training he’s still got it. And he knows it! “When he kicks he puts it on the money. When he passes it’s on the money. It helps you understand why he was so good.

“Any chance to lean on guys like him, it’s really special. And he played over here for Warrington [in 2005]. It’s funny how it all works. Now we face them to get to Wembley.”

But while Warrington have won the Cup four times since 2009, Huddersfield haven’t lifted the famous trophy for more than 70 years. Australia doesn’t have a knockout Cup competition so the ex-St George-Illawarra player has been learning as quickly as he can about what the road to Wembley means. Clune, who turns 29 on the day of the June 8 final, said: “I’ve had some deep conversations these last few days with players and staff about the Challenge Cup.

“It was really cool to speak to our assistant Luke Robinson about his Cup experiences and what it means to him, getting a deeper understanding of how it’s seen over here. I asked Robbo which he’d prefer to win - Super League or Challenge Cup - and he said he couldn’t split them.

“When he said that I was like ‘really?’ From an Aussie’s perspective, we don’t have that back in Australia - a knock-out competition.”

Huddersfield agonisingly lost late on against Wigan when the final was played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a one-off in 2022. Clune admitted: “Leroy Cudjoe mentioned Wembley today and the impact it has on the Cup being able to play on a ground like that. It’s a really exciting time and I can feel the emotion around it all. But we have to turn up against a very good Warrington side - or we’re out.”

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