Hunslet Hawks v Leeds Rhinos: Rookie Rory ready for debut

Rugby league rookie Rory Kettlewell will make his Leeds Rhinos debut in Sunday's Lazenby Cup fixture at Hunslet Hawks.

The 18-year-old former Gloucester rugby union player joined Rhinos last month on a two-year deal, after a trial spell with Wigan Warriors' academy team.

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He has recovered from a knee injury and will start at scrum-half for Rhinos in the annual pre-season derby.

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Kettlewell – originally from Ripon – has been training with Rhinos' full time squad and coach Brian McDermott said: "He has looked good. He has got on with things.

"He is in a period when he is still adapting to a, a new club and b, a new sport – but he has already shown a few indications that he has got

real promise.

"I am looking forward to watching him play and seeing how he handles the next step."

Zak Hardaker – Rhinos' off-season signing from Featherstone Rovers – has been named at full-back, after coming off the bench against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on New Year's Day. First team squad members Michael Coady,

Liam Hood, Kyle Amor, Jared Stuart and Callum Casey are also included in Leeds' starting 13. Cumbrian forward Brad Singleton has resumed training with the first team after recovering from a broken thumb, but will not be risked.

Highly-rated stand-off/loose-forward Steve Ward – a former Hunslet Warriors junior – will be among Rhinos' substitutes.

The exclusion of backs Ben Jones-Bishop and Kallum Watkins and hooker Paul McShane suggests they are in McDermott's thinking for Rhinos' opening engage Super League game against Bradford Bulls in Cardiff on February 13.

The new coach confirmed he intends to field a first-choice line up in a practice game at Crusaders two weeks today.

McDermott will be at Sunday's match, but the team will be coached by new under-20s boss Damian Gibson.

Hawks will field a close to full-length line-up, though Adam Sullivan,

Richard Chapman and James Houston – who all played in the January 2 trial game at Featherstone – will be held back until next weekend's clash with Keighley Cougars.

Stuart Kain comes in for his first pre-season hit-out at full-back and James Ratcliffe is among the substitutes, after recovering from a back problem.

Rhinos' side is: Hardaker, Chisholm, Elliott, Wilson, Coady, Carroll, Kettlewell, Nicholson, Hood, Amor, Stuart, Carvill, Casey. Subs Stott, Syron, Ward, Brown, D Smith, Normington, Bravo.

Hunslet's side is: Kain, Barnett, Clayton, Haughey, Pryce, Grimshaw, P March, Yates, Haigh, Cakacaka, Blakeway, Kelly, D March. Subs Woodcock, Lowe, McLocklan, Ratcliffe, Oakes.

Ronaldo Viera leads the applause for the travelling Leeds fans at Cardiff.

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