Featherstone Rovers v Leeds Rhinos: Richard Agar names strong squad for pre-season derby

Leeds Rhinos' squad for Sunday's pre-season game at Featherstone Rovers provides a glimpse of the club’s present and future.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 14th January 2022, 3:23 pm

Fourteen of Rhinos’ top 20 are included, but some of their leading youngsters will also get an opportunity.

Coach Richard Agar will finalise his initial 13 after training tomorrow (Saturday), but new half-backs Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer are due to start the game as the build up continues to Rhinos’ Betfred Super League opener against Warrington Wolves on Saturday, February 12.

Full-back Jack Walker, who missed the whole of last season with a foot injury, is not included, but could feature away to Bradford Bulls a week on Sunday.

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Teenag half-back/loose-forward Oli Field has been included in Rhinos' squad to face Featherstone. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Liam Sutcliffe (knee) remains on the casualty list and winger Ash Handley and second-rower James Bentley drop out from the team which beat Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.

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Wing signing David Fusitu’a is not risked as he recovers from coronavirus and captain Matt Prior’s only pre-season appearance will be against Hull in Tom Briscoe’s testimonial game on Sunday, January 30.

James Donaldson is suspended, but second-rower Rhyse Martin, who did not play at Christmas, comes into Rhinos’ 25.

Levi Edwards is in Rhinos' squad to face York on Sunday. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Prop Muizz Mustapha - who spent last season on loan at Hull KR - and second-rower Sam Walters were not selected on Boxing Day, but could feature this weekend.

Teenagers Jack Sinfield, a substitute against Wakefield, Levi Edwards, Max Simpson and Oli Field are poised to take a place on the bench.

MacKenzie Turner, an 18-year-old winger, has been drafted in from outside the full-time squad.

The game will be former Rhinos coach Brian McDermott’s first in charge of Rovers.

Brandon Pickersgill and Jacob Doyle will not feature because of injury and Samoa international centre Joey Leilua, a star signing from Wests Tigers, is due to arrive at the club later this month, but the rest of the first team squad will play.

Leeds Rhinos: from Newman, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, Leeming, Martin, Tetevano, Dwyer, Mellor, Myler, Smith, Holroyd, Thompson, Briscoe, Gannon, Walters, Broadbent, O’Connor, Mustapha, Simpson, Tindall, Edwards, Field, Sinfield, Turner.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh).

Kick-off: Sunday, 3pm.

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