Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves: Welcome selection headache for McDermott

Kevin Sinfield.

Kevin Sinfield.

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LEEDS RHINOS coach Brian McDermott will select from close to full-strength for Saturday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves at St Helens’ Langtree Park.

Eight players who did not feature in last Friday’s shock home defeat by Bradford Bulls have been named in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad.

Kevin Sinfield is set to return after a two-match ban and Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall, who were rested last week, are also included.

Ryan Bailey - who was 18th man against Bradford - could play on Saturday and Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Jamie Peacock and Joel Moon are available after minor injuries.

Sinfield’s return will give Leeds a huge lift and McDermott said: “It is good to have Kevin back, he is a big part of us and a big part of what we do.

“That goes without saying. I wouldn’t say we’ve missed him over the last two weeks, but we certainly welcome him back.”

But Leeds will be without Ben Jones-Bishop and Mitch Achurch.

McDermott said: “Bish has a possible anterior cruciate ligament knee tear.

“We’re not sure what grade until he has further tests. There’s also a syndesmosis of the ankle.”

That almost certainly means the end of Jones-Bishop’s season and his Leeds career as he is set to join Salford Red Devils next year.

Of Achurch, McDermott added: “It’s a knee strain, but not serious.”

Also dropping out from last week’s team are Brad Singleton, Elliot Minchella, Robbie Ward and Luke Briscoe.

Ryan Atkins, Micky Higham, Matty Russell and Ben Westwood are back in contention for Warrington, with Ben Currie and Brad Dwyer making way.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

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