Leeds Rhinos: Winger Hall’s closing in a return

Ryan Hall.
Ryan Hall.
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Leeds Rhinos star Ryan Hall says any potential nerves will be “overcome by excitement” as he plans for his long-awaited comeback.

The England winger hasn’t played since the 30-18 win against St Helens on March 18 due to an ankle injury – the longest lay-off of his career so far.

However, although not named in Leeds’ 19-man squad for tomorrow night’s game at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats he will undergo a fitness test today to ascertain if he is ready for a return.

Asked what it will be like, playing again for the first time in almost three months, Hall admitted: “It’s a weird one.

“I’ve not really had to experience this before. I just want to be able to do my job.

“There will be some nerves I’m sure when I’m sat there before the game whenever that may be.

“But they’ll be overcome by excitement to get back playing again.

“I’ve gone through the bits I have to do with the physios and have to get to a certain standard before I can play. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon.”

Hall has featured just seven times this campaign and Leeds – bottom of Super League – have clearly missed his try-scoring ability, strong carrying and defensive strength.

They only finally ended a seven-game losing run by beating Salford Red Devils 8-0 last Friday but now hope to back that up at Belle Vue. But Wakefield, of course, are full of confidence having risen to sixth under Chris Chester’s command.

Hall, 28, conceded: “They have had some great wins, one of them being here at Headingley when they beat us in the last minute. They have done really well as a team but we’re not too focused on how good they may have been. We’re focusing on us and it’s all about us.

“The Salford win was the fourth this year. Hopefully we can make it five. There’s no guarantees as Wakefield have been really good this season and I’m sure they’ll be really good again on Friday. We just have to be better.”

Hall is looking to instantly bring his class to the struggling champions and start making up for lost time.

“It’s been really hard especially when the team’s not been playing so well,” he said. “It’s hard to sit there and be powerless when you’re watching but hopefully that can change in the coming weeks.”

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has named an unchanged squad with Jordan Lilley and Anthony Mullally hoping to break into the matchday 17. Wakefield, meanwhile, are set to give a debut to Australian forward David Fifita, ex-England hooker Scott Moore is back from suspension and Mickael Simon and Jason Walton are both hoping for recalls with Nick Scruton and Chris Annakin dropping out of the 19.

Ryan Hall.

England boss Bennett has a full squad to pick from