Gareth Ellis is looking forward to a memorable day for sport in the city of Hull on Saturday, when Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers do battle at the Etihad Stadium in one of the highlights of Magic Weekend 2014.
The cross-city derby will be the sixth time the two sides have met at Magic Weekend, an event which has quickly established itself as a favourite for the Hull FC captain.
“It is a great concept,” said Ellis. “It’s a festival of Rugby League, there’s all the games from over the weekend and there are fans from all the different clubs watching all the different games. It is a great spectacle and is quite different from any other sport.
“The difference for a player is that you are playing in front of different fans. Obviously you are playing inside a great stadium, which is always nice, and then there are going to be 30 or 40,000 people there each day as well.
“It is nothing like your normal week in, week out rounds of Super League, so it’s just a great occasion and everyone enjoys playing in it. And it is obviously a great occasion for the fans as well, they really enjoy it whether they come for the weekend or the day – they get to see as much rugby as is possible in a weekend.”
On the same day as the Hull derby takes place in Manchester, Hull City will be participating in their first-ever FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, and Ellis believes it highlights the sporting achievements of the East Yorkshire city.
“It is a great day for the city,” said Ellis. “It is a credit to the city itself for having two Super League clubs and a Premier League club that happen to be playing in the FA Cup final.
“I was in the Hull FC club shop not long ago and the tickets for Magic Weekend were flying out so obviously the football club playing in the FA Cup final has not drawn away from that but I’m sure there will be plenty of people in the ground on their phones finding out what the scores are at both events.
“But hopefully the Hull fans will be cheering for two reasons – one because Hull FC have won and two, because Hull City have won.”
Tickets in the East Stand upper tier at Magic Weekend on Saturday May 17 cost £20 for adults and £10 for concessions. Tickets for Sunday May 18 costs from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions: weekend tickets cost from £40 (£20 concessions) and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.