Leeds Rhinos: Corey Johnson has 'definite chance' of featuring against St Helens says coach Richard Agar

Coach Richard Agar says Corey Johnson has “a definite chance” of making his Leeds Rhinos comeback away to St Helens tomorrow (Friday).

Johnson’s only previous first team appearance for Leeds was a substitute in the final game of 2019.

He announced his retirement from rugby league the following pre-season, but dipped a toe back into the sport with community side Hunslet Club Parkside earlier this year.

He re-signed for Rhinos in July and was immediately loaned to Betfred Championship outfit York City Knights to regain fitness and form.

Corey Johnson resumed training with Rhinos this week. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos.

The original plan was for Johnson to resume full-time training at Leeds in pre-season.

But - with three half-backs on the casualty list and hooker Kruise Leeming having to switch roles - he was recalled from York this week and is included in the initial 21-man squad for Friday's game.

“That’s a shot in the arm for us,” Agar said of the 20-year-old’s return to the squad.

“He is a terrific young player. He has obviously had a period away from the game and I think everybody knows the high hopes and rating we had on Corey before that.”

Corey Johnson played for Leeds against Wakefield in the 2019 Boxing Day game. Picture by Steve Riding.

Agar said Johnson, who played for England in their 2018 Test series win over Australian Schoolboys, is in “tremendous spirits” and has lost none of the ability he showed before his layoff.

He added: “He played some really good football at York.

“He has played hooker and had some really impressive games and also filled in in the halves as well.

“It is like getting a new signing and, longer-term, I’m really looking forward to getting him back in full-time next year, him getting a pre-season under his belt and challenging for a spot.

“He will give us some terrific depth in the spine.”

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