Leeds Rhinos: Broncos star man Foster to miss Leeds clash

Alex Foster.
Alex Foster.
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LEEDS RHINOS forward Alex Foster has been London Broncos’ top performer this season, according to the capital club’s coach Joey Grima.

Foster, 20, right, made eight substitute appearances for Rhinos last term and was sent to London on a season-long deal in order to build up his Super League experience.

He will miss tomorrow’s visit of Rhinos, at Barnet FC’s The Hive ground, due to a hip injury and Grima said: “That is disappointing, because he has been our best player this year.”

Another Leeds prospect, centre Thomas Minns, pictured far right, is included in Broncos’ squad as they seek a first win of the league campaign, at the 24th attempt.

Grima has also been pleased with Minns’ contribution this year and he said: “At 19, to play 21 Super League games is a phenomenal effort.” Winger Thomas Duckworth had been on a similar arrangement at London, but was hampered by injury and had a stint on dual-registration with London Skolars before being released this week.

He has joined Hunslet Hawks until the end of the Kingstone Press Championship One season, but Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington, pictured right, confirmed he is due back at Rhinos next year. It has been a tough season for Broncos, who have lost all their competitive games, but Grima is in upbeat mood ahead of Wembley-bound Rhinos’ visit tomorrow.

Rhinos will be without nine players from last weekend’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final win over Warrington Wolves as they prepare for the final a week today.

Grima said: “Their coach Brian McDermott has been in this situation before and he knows what to tell his troops.

“They are arguably the most experienced group of players in Super League and they have been through it before.

“It is going to be hard for them, but whoever Brian picks is going to deserve the shirt.”

Grima added: “I go into every game thinking if we play well enough we can beat any team.

“We have not had a win this year and we have let in a thousand points, but I still go in confident.

“I have got all the confidence in the world, but I know we are going to have to play really, really well and Leeds will have to be under-par.

“In their previous (league) game against Bradford they made some poor errors, which is uncharacteristic of Leeds.

“Bradford’s desire got them the points and we will be looking to do the same on Sunday.”

Grima admitted a victory would be a huge boost as he attempts to rebuild Broncos’ squad ahead of next year’s Championship campaign.

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