Leeds Rhinos: Festive bow for new boys

New Leeds Rhinos signings Ben Cross, Weller Hauraki and Zak Hardaker are all set to make their first appearances for the club in the Festive Charity Trophy clash with Wakefield on Boxing Day at Headingley (KO 11.30am).

New Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott has named the strongest Leeds side fielded for this fixture in the summer era as the squad look to impress their new boss.

Skipper Kevin Sinfield will lead the side from stand-off as he partners Rob Burrow in the injury absence of Danny McGuire, while Carl Ablett will play at loose-forward.

Young full-back Ben Jones-Bishop will make his first appearance for the Rhinos since the corresponding fixture last year, when he scored a try in the win over the Wildcats before spending the season on loan at Harlequins.

Luke Burgess makes his comeback from the broken jaw he suffered at Castleford in the latter stages of last season that robbed him of a chance of playing at Wembley in the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final whilst Kallum Watkins will be looking to get the new season off to a positive start after a knee reconstruction ruined his 2010 campaign.

Looking ahead to the game, McDermott said: "The guys are looking forward to getting out there and getting a game under their belts.

"The majority of the squad had a decent break at the end of last year, for the first time in a number of seasons, and there has been a great spirit within the group during pre-season.

"The new players have fitted in really well and we know that people come on Boxing Day looking to enjoy their morning at the rugby so it is nice to be able to select a side entirely from the first team squad."

Leeds and Wakefield have both committed to pay a pound from every ticket sold for the game to The Sick Children's Trust, which helps families across the region who have children in hospital in Leeds.

Meanwhile, Castleford have announced that principle partner Probiz has further increased its investment in the club, assuming full naming rights for the Tigers stadium.

As a result the Jungle will be renamed the Probiz Coliseum.

The move came about after Probiz founder Feisal Nahaboo visited The Jungle and decided to invest further with immediate effect while continuing with discussions to obtain naming rights for the Tigers' new stadium at Glasshoughton.

Probiz is a wealth creation specialist with 400 offices nationwide.

Nahaboo has expressed his personal interest to market the club in the Middle East starting in January to increase both investment and the club's fanbase.

Shirts have already been sold in overseas markets and Probiz involvement will now see this trend increase.

Probiz says it wishes to maintain the club's history, while recognising the need to lift the corporate image to appeal to a greater segment of fans to help stimulate club growth.

As part of the initial agreement, Probiz will have a branding presence within the stadium including rooflines, perimeter advertising, home and away dug outs, the tunnel area, scoreboard as well as use of a hospitality box.

The first Live Sky match on Saturday, February 19 is against Huddersfield Giants and Probiz are inviting special guests to attend.

FRUSTRATION: Leeds United's Pierre-Michel Lasogga after his close-range header was saved against Nottingham Forest. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Leeds United v Millwall: Christiansen backs Whites to fire in goals ‘week by week’