Furness Raiders will be looking to go one better when they face Wigan Warriors Foundation College in the AoC National Cup final at Featherstone this afternoon.

Last year, the young Raiders were defeated 36-16 in the finale by Wakefield in what was the last match in charge for Darren Carter, who was replaced by former Barrow player David Cairns for this season.

Under Cairns, Furness have built up a strong squad, which has made selection for the clash at Post Office Road something of a headache for the coach, who knows his side will face a much tougher task than in previous rounds.

The last two ties have been a breeze for Cairns’ side, with a 48-8 semi-final victory over Wyke College being preceded by a 92-6 demolition of Huddersfield New College in the quarters.

Cairns said: “We had quite an easy ride to the final, I’ve got to say that. We’ve dished out a few hammerings and we’ve always played teams from the league below us.

“We’re playing another team from the league below us, but this is a team from Wigan, which is what I’ve stressed to the lads – this is a rugby team from Wigan, so they aren’t going to be bad.

“They’re going to be a good side and they’re going to have as much as we’ve got, so I don’t expect them to be one of the teams we put 80 points into, it’s not going to happen.

“It is a final and you don’t try to dispel any thoughts that because we’ve done very well in the semi-final, and the quarter final especially, which was ridiculous really, that it’s going to be easy.

“The lads need to really focus because these are going to good, they’re going to be talented, so they can’t take it for granted.”

Having had to work around other commitments for his players this season, Cairns had almost everybody available for the final, with the exception of winger Cam Currie, who suffered an ankle ligament injury while playing for Barrow Island last week.

He is expected to be out for seven weeks, while the match will be a swansong for the likes of Adam Ford and Elliot Campbell, two of the more ‘senior’ players in the squad.

“It was such a hard task, having to tell lads they weren’t playing, that was my biggest worry, rather than thinking about the game. We’ve left some really good lads out, but that’s the way it is – you’ve got to pick 17.” Cairns said.