Leeds Rhinos news as two forwards ruled out of Super League round 1 v Salford Red Devils
Speaking at today’s (Thursday’s) competition launch in Manchester, coach Rohan Smith confirmed Morgan Gannon and James McDonnell will not be available for the round one clash at AMT Headingley on Friday, February 16.
Gannon, who failed a head injury assessment during Leeds’ Boxing Day win over Wakefield Trinity, was hurt again late in the 26-18 defeat of Hull KR last Sunday.
It appeared he suffered another head knock, but Smith said after the game the 20-year-old was struggling with a shoulder injury. Today, the coach revealed: “He had both, a head knock and a stinger.
“He is off to see the consultant next week and we’ll take it from there, but he has had no symptoms with either [injury]. He is fine, but we’ll take advice from the expert.”
Gannon also had concussions at the end of 2022 and during last season. Smith noted: “We will take a cautious approach and be guided by the experts, but he won’t play next week.”
Second-row is one of Rhinos’ strongest positions, but Smith said they will also be without McDonnell, who has a hamstring problem, for round one. Another back-rower, James Bentley, did not play in pre-season because of ankle and shoulder issues, but has a chance of being available to face Salford. Winger David Fusitu'a (knee), props Tom Holroyd (knee) and Sam Lisone (thumb) and forward Mickael Goudemand (pectoral muscle) could also come back into contention, along with centre Paul Momirovski who was on leave in Australia last week.