Big names return as Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity squads are announced
Both teams are set to welcome back key players when Leeds Rhinos face Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley on Thursday.
Forwards James Donaldson and Alex Mellor have both been named in Rhinos' initial 21-man squad and could be back in action earlier than first feared.
Donaldson suffered a fracture to his back in Leeds' win over Huddersfield Giants on August 2 and Mellor sustained bone damage to a knee against St Helens the following week.
Both were expected to be out of action for around six weeks.
Adam Cuthbertson drops out after picking up a back injury in the 50-12 win over Salford Red Devils last Saturday and Konrad Hurrell (hamstring) and Jack Walker (foot) remain on the casualty list, alongside long-termers Stevie Ward (head), Dom Crosby (knee) and Cameron Smith (broken jaw).
Luke Briscoe and Callum McLelland are included in the initial squad after not playing against Salford and 19-year-old back-rower Jarrod O'Connor comes into contention for the first time.
Centre Reece Lyne will return for Trinity - who are officially the home team - following a two-match suspension.
Craig Kopczak, Adam Tangata and Josh Wood are also included in their initial 21 after being rested for the game against Warrington Wolves last Sunday, when Wakefield lost 36-0.
George King and Connor Bailey are also in contention.
On-loan Huddersfield Giants winger Innes Senior has been named in the squad despite suffering an ankle injury against Warrington, but Bill Tupou (head) drops out, along with Chris Green.
David Fifita remains on the sidelines after refusing to wear a global positioning system tracker and Liam Kay, Alex Walker and Jay Pitts are isolating.
Leeds Rhinos' initial 21-man squad is: Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Ash Handley, Rob Lui, Luke Gale, Ava Seumanufagai, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, Alex Mellor, Rhyse Martin, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Richie Myler, Mikolaj Oledzki, Bodene Thompson, Callum McLelland, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Alex Sutcliffe, Tom Holroyd, Jarrod O’Connor.
Wakefield Trinity's 21 is: Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Kyle Wood, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond, Joe Westerman, Craig Kopczak, James Batchelor, Adam Tangata, Jordan Crowther, Max Jowitt, George King, Josh Wood, Jack Croft, Ryan Hampshire, Connor Bailey, Kelepi Tanginoa, Romain Navarrete, Tony Gigot, Innes Senior.
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