Leeds Rhinos star Ash Handley in danger of missing Super League round one after suffering knee injury in loss to Huddersfield Giants

Ash Handley is in “tremendous doubt” for Betfred Super League round one, in less than two weeks’ time, after being hurt in Leeds Rhinos’ 22-16 pre-season defeat at Huddersfield Giants on Sunday.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 14th March 2021, 8:19 pm
Ash Handley was hurt after falling awkwardly following a high tackle. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Ash Handley was hurt after falling awkwardly following a high tackle. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Handley, last season’s top try scorer in Super League and Rhinos’ player of the year runner-up, suffered a knee injury following a high tackle in the first half.

Leeds begin their competitive campaign against Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley on Saturday, March 27 and coach Richard Agar admitted the winger - who started Sunday’s game at full-back - is at risk of being ruled out.

“We think Ash has got a medial injury,” Agar said.

King Vuniyayawa went close to scoring in his first appearance for Rhinos. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“The extent won’t be known until Monday.

“We will get him scanned, but I would say he will be a risk for round one.

“He is sore at the moment and we have our fingers crossed it is a low-grade medial strain.

“But even a low-grade medial strain would put him in tremendous doubt for round one at this stage, I reckon.”

Handley’s injury marred what Agar felt was an encouraging performance from Rhinos, who were missing a host of first-choice players,

Leeds trailed 22-4 after 13 minutes of the second half, but hit back strongly and were close to snatching a draw in the final moments.

“I was really pleased with a lot of aspects of what we did,” Agar said.

“I thought for long periods we did some really good stuff.

“Of course, there were some areas we need to work on.

“Pre-season trials always give you that, but we’ve come out of it - with the preparation we had for this game - with a stack of positives and very much knowing what we’ve got to work on over the next couple of weeks.”

New signing Zane Tetevano had been named in Rhinos’ initial squad, but was not risked due to a minor hamstring problem.

Agar said that was a case of “safety-first” and the former Penrith Panthers man is expected to be fit for the derby against Wakefield.