Rugby League

1895 Cup

4 Jun 2024

Back-to-back Wembley appearances for Lachlan Walmsley | 1895 Cup Final

Back-to-back Wembley appearances for Lachlan Walmsley | 1895 Cup Final

Wakefield Trinity are about to make their first Wembley appearance since 1979. But they’ll have one player on their team who is about to go back-to-back on the big stage – as Lachlan Walmsley becomes the first ever player to make two consecutive appearances at Wembley in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final.

Walmsley has become hot property in the Betfred Championship in recent seasons, racking up numerous accolades which include top points scorer and try scorer for his previous clubs Whitehaven and Halifax, as well as the league’s top try scorer in 2023 and joint Championship Player of the Year.


Walmsley 2


Now renowned for his searing pace and ability to score in acrobatic fashion, he currently tops the try-scoring charts once again in 2024, leading the way with 12 tries in ten rounds. And as Wakefield eagerly await their first final in 45 years, Walmsley is looking forward to a return to Wembley, for both himself and the Wakefield club:

“We’re feeling confident, and all of the boys are excited. There’s this excitement within the team because a lot of the boys haven’t had the chance the play at Wembley.

“Everyone’s keen to get down there and see what we can do, and hopefully bring back some silverware.”

Walmsley’s former club Halifax Panthers were 1895 Cup winners last time out, as they held off a late comeback to beat local rivals Batley Bulldogs 12-10. It was a nervy ending for the ‘Fax team when Batley's Dane Manning went on to try score a last-gasp try, but a tricky missed conversion meant Halifax would take the win.

The flying winger recalled himself and his team-mates scrambling to save the try which gave Batley the opportunity to draw level - and was relieved that his side managed to hold out in the end and go on to lift the trophy.




He now relishes the chance to appear at Wembley once more with his new team in their new era:

“I had the win last year with Halifax and the opportunity to do it all again is going to be special. But more so special for Wakefield and the Wakefield fans. It’s been 45 years since they’ve last been to Wembley and we want to bring back a trophy for this club.”

“There’s a couple of boys in our team that can pass on experience who have played in Challenge Cup Finals before, too.

“But my experience is just what I can give throughout the week. It's just about enjoying the week for what it is, and I want to be that team-mate that everyone wants to play with.

“The game goes that quick. Everyone’s experiences are different, but it went that quick for me, and I’d say the build-up was probably the most enjoyable part.”

To book their place in the 1895 Cup Final, Wakefield had to overcome Bradford Bulls at Bartercard Odsal in a semi-final - and they did so in style with a 40-14 victory.

But it wasn’t as plain sailing as the score-line suggested, for Daryl Powell’s men had found themselves trailing 8-0 inside the first thirty minutes.

For Walmsley, he admitted having to watch on nervously from the bench, before coming on to the field and making an impact in the closing stages of the match:

“At Bradford, it was a big sigh of relief to win.

“I’ve never come off the bench before in that game – it was a bit of a different experience.

“We were a little bit nervous at the start of the game but when we came back out after half-time and scored a few tries – that sent us on our way.”

Over in Australia, Walmsley admitted that the magical aura of Wembley isn’t often spoken about back home. But having now experienced playing in the legendary venue himself, he can finally relay back to his family, friends, and fellow Australian players just what the National Stadium means:

“Some of my team-mates including Ky Rodwell and Luke Bain asked the question of Wembley - and I gave them as much detail as I could.


Walmsley Halifax Wembley


“It’s all about what the pitch is like and the stadium itself – it’s amazing when you first walk out there, and it’ll be unreal for some of the boys to walk out there for the first time.

“There’s going to be a few excited boys in our team when they find out they’re playing in such a big game.

“I think it’s getting a lot more known back home these days though, because a lot of the Aussie players are coming over here and the media in Rugby League is a lot bigger now.

“You didn’t really hear much about it back home but then you come over here and realise how much it means.”

Last year’s Wembley trip was also an emotional and memorable one for Walmsley as he was surprised by his family ahead of the 1895 Cup Final, who are invested in the sport just as much as he is:

“My mum, dad, brother, and uncle flew over just to surprise me – I didn’t even know they were coming!” Walmsley explained.

“It was really nice, and the Halifax club kept it a surprise too.

“They rocked up the night before the game and surprised me; it was emotional but something I’ll always remember and then we got the win for them.

“My parents are massive supporters – every weekend my mum and dad are up listening to games on the radio or watching it if it’s televised – or they’ll keep up to date on X.”

“They are massive Rugby League fans – my dad used to play back in the day for clubs back home. My mum’s also been a big advocate – they love keeping an eye on me and they’re pretty proud of me, I guess.”

Hoping for another memorable final this year, the 25-year-old has firmly found his feet at Wakefield Trinity – a side who have enjoyed a perfect start to life in the Betfred Championship following their relegation from the Betfred Super League last season.

Daryl Powell's Trinity are a force to be reckoned with in 2024 and currently remain unbeaten in the Championship competition. And now they find themselves just 80 minutes from walking up the famous Wembley stairs and lifting the 1895 Cup trophy...


Lachlan Walmsley


“It is good to be in a full-time environment,” Walmsley admitted. “I’m enjoying my time here and the coaching staff are great. I’ve been adding a few things to my game and learning from the other players.

“It’s been a good transition.”

Looking at their opponents on Saturday, the Sheffield Eagles, Walmsley is expecting a tough test from the cup competition’s inaugural winners, but is confident his side can get the job done:

Trinity have already met with the Eagles once this season in Round 7 of the Championship where Wakefield ran out 36-10 victors at Olympic Legacy Park.

“We'll look to approach this game the same way we did in Round 7,” said Walmsley. 

“It’s all about being good with our defence and shutting down their attack as much as we can. If we can do that, then we should make a good game of it.

“Sheffield have got quality players in Cory Aston and Kyle Wood – and Wood didn’t play in Round 7. They’ve got such a good team, so we’ll have to keep those ‘big game’ players quiet.

“We’ve got to do another good job and see how we go.”

And despite flying high at the top of the Championship following a positive takeover and rebuild, Walmsley knows his side must keep grounded if they are to achieve any form of success:

“I think a lot of teams look at us as a free hit. We know we’re a bit of a target, but we know every week what we’ve got to do and that we have to bring our A game.

“We want to finish top of the league table and the 1895 Cup is something we definitely want to win as well – and let’s see where that takes us. I’m super excited to see what the future brings at this club.”

As we enter mid-way through the season, Walmsley will be looking to continuing his terrific try scoring theme. And on his try scoring antics, the Wakefield flier would love to be able to cross the whitewash at Wembley, while eyeing up a couple of other targets for the remainder of the season:

“In the first year at Halifax, I was their top try-scorer, so the next year I wanted to beat that again.

“I think the club record at Wakefield is 38 tries. I got 38 at Halifax last year so if I could do that again, then that would be great.

“I’m trying to improve my game overall – that’s my main focus, but I don’t mind setting a little target for scoring as many tries as I can.

On the possibility of scoring a try on the Wembley turf, he said:

“It’d be a little goal of mine to be ticked off. I didn’t get the chance to score there last year, so if I could get over, then that would be great – and more importantly to be able to win and lift that trophy for Wakefield.

“It would be unreal experience for myself and a good feeling for myself, my family and all the Wakefield fans and players.

“I’ll take whichever type of try - hopefully we can just get a couple of good tries, but if Max [Jowitt] wants to set me up for a hat-trick, I’m not complaining!”

“We’ve now got a chance to do something for the club. I’ve heard from a lot of fans how excited they are.

“It’s special for the whole city.”

Can Walmsley and Wakefield bring home the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup trophy?


The 2024 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final will take place on Saturday 8 June, K.O. 5.45pm at Wembley Stadium. The match will be streamed LIVE and FREE on SuperLeague+. Details can be found here.


The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final (KO 5.45pm) is part of a Finals Day triple-header at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 June, alongside the finals of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup (KO 11.45am) and Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final (KO 3.07pm). Plus, there will be the traditional Year 7 Boys’ Champion Schools Final at 10am. Tickets are available online now from only £20 Adults and £10 Under 16s, with family packages also available.


Photo Credit: Wakefield Trinity