Leeds Rhinos news: pre-season setback rules key forward out of trial game at Leigh Leopards
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Smith will field a strong squad for Rhinos’ second pre-season hit out, following the home defeat by Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day, second-rower James Bentley is unavailable.
“He has had a minor knock and he won’t play next week either,” Smith said.
The coach declined to reveal the nature of the injury, but insisted: “It’s nothing major.”
Also ruled out of the game at Leigh are fellow second-rower Rhyse Martin and loose-forward Cameron Smith. Martin began pre-season this month after captaining Papua New Guinea in last autumn’s World Cup.
“Rhyse hasn’t done enough training yet,” Smith said. “He is only into his third week.”
Cameron Smith missed the Christmas fixture following elbow surgery, which has now fully healed, but told the Yorkshire Evening Post last week he is struggling with a calf muscle problem.
Rohan Smith confirmed: “Cam is not available. He had a minor issue a few weeks ago and he’s not back yet, but he will play against Bradford.”
Centres Harry Newman (hamstring) and Nene Macdonald (quad muscle), prop Mikolaj Oledzki (shoulder) and full-back Luke Hooley (ankle) all remain on the long-term casualty list.
“I’m looking forward to taking a step forward,” Smith said of facing last year’s Betfred Championship winners.
“We’ll have a strong group. Everyone that’s fit and healthy and ready to play is playing.
“We’ve got a stronger team out [than Boxing Day] so we’ll be playing with an elevated intensity.
“I thought the players who played on Boxing Day had a good crack. There was a lot of young kids there and we’ve got a more experienced team out this time around.
“With that comes more intensity and more quality. The opposition have got a good roster together so there’s plenty to gain for everyone.”
Leigh’s squad includes Zak Hardaker who played for Rhinos in last year’s Super League Grand Final defeat by St Helens.
Another ex-Leeds man, winger Tom Briscoe, will not feature, but Rhinos forward Morgan Gannon will be up against his elder brother Jacob who signed for Leigh from Warrington Wolves in the off-season.