Leeds Rhinos news: coach Rohan Smith reveals Blake Austin injury timescale

Leeds Rhinos could be without stand-off Blake Austin for several weeks after he missed the Betfred Challenge Cup loss to Wigan Warriors with a calf muscle injury.
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Austin had been outstanding in the previous week’s 40-18 Super League win at Wigan, but was ruled out late in the week.

Leeds also lost Ash Handley, who could have played at full-back or on a wing, but was unavailable because of illness.

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Rhinos were already without second-rowers Zane Tetevano (suspended) and James Bentley (concussion) from the team which won at Wigan.

Rhinos' makeshift stand-off Morgan Gannon takes on Wigan's Harry Smith. Picture by Richard Sellers/PA Wire.Rhinos' makeshift stand-off Morgan Gannon takes on Wigan's Harry Smith. Picture by Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Rhinos' makeshift stand-off Morgan Gannon takes on Wigan's Harry Smith. Picture by Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
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A reshuffle saw forward Morgan Gannon start in the halves for the first time and coach Rohan Smith explained: “Austo trained fully on Thursday and had a scan [on Friday] after feeling a bit ginger. He wasn’t right.

“We trained that way yesterday [Friday], but weren’t quite sure until last night. It’s probably a two-to-four-week type of thing.

“Ash Handley was ill and we gave him as long as possible, but he just wasn’t in any state to compete in a game like that. That was a very late withdrawal.”

Rhinos' Blake Austin. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Rhinos' Blake Austin. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Rhinos' Blake Austin. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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Of Gannon’s performance, Smith said: “He played his way, carried the ball well, competed very well. He will take some lessons out of some situations there, but the only way to learn, really, is to get some experience.

“With missing a couple of halves it was a great opportunity for Ganno and he’ll be better for it.”