O'Brien looks to enhance claims
Gareth O'Brien will be aiming to help Warrington take another step towards a third Wembley appearance in four years when they face Bradford.
The 20-year-old scrum-half, a spectator at Wembley for the Wolves' Challenge Cup triumphs in 2009 and 2010, will also be seeking to hold on to his spot as he deputises for the injured Richie Myler and make up for lost time after sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the same match last year.
The one-time ball boy made a try-scoring debut in Warrington's fourth-round win over Keighley in May 2011 and kept his place for a Super League game against Castleford before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during his side's fifth-round win over Swinton.
His next senior opportunity came with Super League neighbours Widnes, for whom O'Brien played four matches on loan earlier this year before being recalled by coach Tony Smith to face them at Easter and he has appeared in three of their last four matches.
"We've got such a good squad here, it's hard for some of the young guys to stamp their place but, now I've got my chance, I'm really enjoying being part of this team and hopefully I can cement my place," he said.
"My aim at the start of the year was to put a bit of pressure on the lads in front of me and I'm happy with how I'm going at the minute.
"It's in my hands now. Nothing against Richie but we're both fighting for that number seven jersey."
Smith, who welcomes back hooker Michael Monaghan from a four-match absence with knee trouble for the fifth-round clash with the Bulls, is delighted with the progress being made the young half-back.
"Gaz O'Brien has done a good job in Richie's absence," he said. "He's putting his hand up."
O'Brien is likely to go up against Luke Gale, who has missed Bradford's last 10 matches with an ankle injury and will provide Mick Potter's side with a timely boost.
The cash-strapped Bulls are still attempting to secure their future against a backdrop of financial uncertainty and know a Cup run could provide their coffers with a fillip.
"Bradford have had financial trouble off the field which I feel has brought their team closer together," said O'Brien.
"They've put together some good performances over the last few weeks and we know this will be a massive test for us."
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