LEEDS RHINOS’ squad depth will be tested when they bid to break their First Utility Super League duck against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan today.
Seven members of Rhinos’ 25-man full-time squad are unavailable due to injury and Mitch Garbutt is beginning a two-game ban after being sent-off in last weekend’s World Club Challenge defeat.
Forwards Mitch Achurch and Jordan Baldwinson – who have both been recalled from a dual-registration stint at Featherstone Rovers – are named in the initial 19-man squad for the first time this season.
England youth prop Sam Hallas, 19, is also included, but more likely to play for Rhinos academy against Catalans in the curtain-raiser.
Beau Falloon, who suffered a broken toe in pre-season training and long-term casualty Jamie Jones-Buchanan (quad) are nearing fitness, but have not been included in today’s squad.
Others on the casualty list are ankle injury victims Tom Briscoe, Carl Ablett and Ashton Golding, plus Danny McGuire and Stevie Ward (both knee).
Catalans could give a debut to recently-signed former Australia Test prop Willie Mason. Rhinos academy product Jodie Broughton is also in line for his first appearance, but ex-Leeds hooker Paul Aiton is on the casualty list, alongside Remi Casty.