Leeds Rhinos: Callum McLelland and Konrad Hurrell could have made last appearance but King Vuniyayawa keen to play through pain barrier

Half-back Callum McLelland and centre Konrad Hurrell could have made their final appearance for Leeds Rhinos, but forward King Vuniyayawa is determined to play through the pain barrier.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:48 pm

Coach Richard Agar confirmed McLelland suffered a ruptured patella tendon in the defeat at Wakefield Trinity two weeks ago.

He has undergone surgery and is facing a six-month recovery time.

McLelland is out of contract at the end of this season and has been linked with a return to Castleford Tigers, where he had a spell in the academy.

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King Vuniyayawa in action for Rhinos against Salford. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Agar said Rhinos have offered him a new deal, but have not had a response.

Hurrell, who has rejected a contract offer and is set to join Friday's hosts St Helens, suffered a foot injury against Leigh Centurions in August and Agar stated: “He’s still struggling and it’s probably unlikely we will get him back.”

Vuniyayawa, who will join Salford at the end of this season, needs surgery on a foot injury suffered last against Hull last week and is not included in the squad for tomorrow.

But Agar said he is keen to postpone the operation “in the hope he can play again this season, pain permitting”.

Jack Walker is keen to warm up with the team before a game this year. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

A total of 10 players are unavailable for Rhinos against Saints.

Of the others, Agar said Jack Walker - who has not played this year because of a foot injury - is back running in training and hopes to warm-up with the team before a game this season.

Mikolaj Oledzki (toe) could be available for the first round of the play-offs, if Leeds qualify; Alex Mellor (knee) is “a couple of weeks away”, with Luke Gale, who has a similar injury, two weeks behind him. Rob Lui (concussion) will be available next week, Zane Tetevano has two games still to serve of his suspension and Liam Sutcliffe (knee) will be fit for the start of the 2022 campaign.

Corey Hall, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor, Alex Sutcliffe, Levi Edwards and Corey Johnson, who has been recalled from loan at York, are in contention for a call-up at TW Stadium.

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