Leeds Rhinos shock as squad named for crucial game at Catalans Dragons

Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith has named only 19 players in his initial squad for Monday’s crunch game at Catalans Dragons, with a surprise name missing.
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Rhinos will travel to and from Perpignan on the day and say, with the short turnaround, Austin is not right to travel, though he could be available for Saturday’s home derby against Castleford Tigers.

Aidan Sezer is serving a one-match ban so Leeds will be without both first-choice half-backs, as well as winger David Fusitu’a who has suffered a calf strain against Huddersfield.

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Winger Liam Tindall returns to the squad after missing last week’s win because of a thumb injury.

Blake Austin scores Rhinos' winning try against Huddersfield. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Blake Austin scores Rhinos' winning try against Huddersfield. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Blake Austin scores Rhinos' winning try against Huddersfield. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Centre Liam Sutcliffe (knee) and second-row Morgan Gannon (ribs) are both included in the 19 despite picking up knocks against Giants.

Half-back Jack Sinfield, who starred for Leeds’ under-18s in their win over Warrington Wolves in last Thursday’s curtain-raiser, is set for a call-up and hooker/stand-off Corey Johnson and forwards Sam Walters and Muizz Mustapha are also named in the initial squad.

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Other players on Rhinos’ casualty list are Harry Newman (hamstring), Cameron Smith (leg), Tom Holroyd (elbow), Boden Thompson (ribs), James Donaldson (knee) and Max Simpson (ankle).

Liam Tindall, pictured in action against Catalans last month, could return from injury on Monday.  Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.Liam Tindall, pictured in action against Catalans last month, could return from injury on Monday.  Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.
Liam Tindall, pictured in action against Catalans last month, could return from injury on Monday. Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.
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Catalans are without Sam Tomkins and Matthieu Laguerre from the team which beat Toulouse Olympique on Thursday, but Arthur Mourgue, Mitchell Pearce, Arthur Romano, Micky McIlorum and Sam Kasiano are back in contention and Tiaki Chan is also vying for a recall.

Monday’s game comes a day short of a month after Leeds, reduced to 12 men with Matt Prior sent off, hit back from 30-6 down in the second half to beat Catalans 36-32 in golden point extra-time at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Victory would guarantee Rhinos a top-six finish, but if they lose they will drop to sixth in the table, effectively making Saturday’s game a must-win.

Catalans Dragons: from Mourgue, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Pearce, Drinkwater, Dudson, McIlorum, Whitley, Garcia, Da Costa, Seguier, Goudemand, Romano, May, Napa, Rouge, J Chan, Kasiano, T Chan.

Aidan Sezer, who scored the golden-point winning try at Catalans a month ago,  misses Monday's trip because of suspension. Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.Aidan Sezer, who scored the golden-point winning try at Catalans a month ago,  misses Monday's trip because of suspension. Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.
Aidan Sezer, who scored the golden-point winning try at Catalans a month ago, misses Monday's trip because of suspension. Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.
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Leeds Rhinos: from Sutcliffe, Handley, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Bentley, Martin, Tetevano, Dwyer, Myler, Briscoe, Gannon, Walters, O’Connor, Johnson, Mustapha, Tindall, Sinfield, Hardaker.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Kick-off: Monday, 6pm UK.