Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants: Half our salary cap is ruled out says boss Richard Agar

Coach Richard Agar says Leeds Rhinos will have more than half their salary cap unavailable when they meet Huddersfield Giants at Emerald Headingley tonight.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 4:00 am

Rhyse Martin (suspended), Konrad Hurrell (foot injury) and Luke Gale (knee) all drop out from the team which won at Leigh Centurions last week and join Jack Walker (foot), Mikolaj Oledzki (toe), Matt Prior (Covid), Alex Mellor (knee), Liam Sutcliffe (knee), Alex Sutcliffe (knee) and Jack Broadbent (ankle) on the sidelines.

“We know we are going to have to do it tough,” Agar said.

“We’ve got more than half our salary cap unavailable to us, which would challenge most teams, but it is a challenge our guys are very much up for.”

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James Donaldson could return for Rhinos against Giants after being rested last week. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Agar reckons this evening’s game is a “good opportunity” for half-back Callum McLelland, who is set to return from concussion.

“He’d have had more chances this year, had he been fit and available,” Agar said.

“I’m sure Callum is very much up for the fight and challenge and opportunity he has got from here on in.”

Broadbent was water carrier last week and is getting close to a comeback and Agar is hopeful Prior will be available for next Wednesday’s visit to Wigan Warriors.

King Vuniyayawa is also back in the squad following a head injury, James Donaldson and Sam Walters could be recalled and Levi Edwards and Corey Hall are in contention after returning from loan spells in the Betfred Championship.

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Giants coach Ian Watson initially named a 19-man squad, but has since added half-back Oliver Russell.

Lee Gaskell is available from a long injury layoff and Olly Ashall-Bott and George Roby are vying for a recall, but Ricky Leutele drops out from the team beaten at Salford Red Devils last week.

Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Newman, Handley, Lui, Leeming, Tetevano, Dwyer, Myler, Smith, Holroyd, Vuniyayawa, Thompson, Walters, McLelland, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor, Hall, Edwards, Gannon.

Huddersfield Giants: from Golding, Jake Wardle, Gaskell, Yates, Jones, English, Greenwood, Cogger, Wilson, Cudjoe, Russell, Trout, Wood, Hewitt, Ashall-Bott, Pryce, Peteru, Peats, Roby.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.

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