Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity - team news for big Super League derby

Unusually, Leeds Rhinos will go into Friday's home derby with Wakefield Trinity having more half-back options than their opponents.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:38 pm

Captain Luke Gale returns from a four-match layoff with a fractured thumb and Kyle Eastmond is available after a hamstring injury kept him out of Rhinos’ previous game.

Playing at stand-off, Liam Sutcliffe was Leeds’ best player in the defeat at Huddersfield Giants, but could revert to his preferred role in the left-centre - with Alex Mellor moving into the pack for his 150th career appearance - if Eastmond returns in the halves.

Centre Corey Hall and back-rower Morgan Gannon are in contention, along with the 17 on duty at John Smith's Stadium.

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Matty Ashurst is back in contention for Trinity to face Leeds on Friday. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Richie Myler and Zane Tetevano remain suspended, but will be available for next weekend’s visit of Hull.

Jack Walker (foot), Harry Newman (broken leg), Rob Lui (quad muscle), Cameron Smith (hamstring), Tom Holroyd (fractured leg), Alex Sutcliffe (knee) and Callum McLelland (groin) remain on the casualty list.

It will be the 100th game of prop Mikolaj Oledzki’s first team career.

Trinity are still without captain Jacob Miller (knee) and another potential half-back Ryan Hampshire (jaw) because of injury, so full-back Max Jowitt wil continue alongside half-back Mason Lino.

Kyle Eastmond could return for Rhinos against Trinity on Friday. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Former Dream Team second-rower Matt Ashurst returns following an ankle injury and Innes Senior, Matty Crowther, Joe Arundel and Brad Walker are also included in Trinity’s initial 21-man squad.

Centre Bill Tupou has a calf muscle problem so drops out from the side which lost to Catalans Dragons two weeks ago and Tom Johnstone (concussion), Alex Walker (back) and Josh Wood (jaw) remain on the sidelines.

Jack Croft will miss the rest of the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament playing on loan for Oldham.

Trinity’s ex-Rhinos forward Jay Pitts will make his 150th Super League appearance and teammate Joe Westerman needs two tries for a career century.

Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Gale, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Vuniyayawa, Thompson, Walters, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor, Broadbent, Hall, Gannon, Eastmond.

Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Lyne, Kay, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, B Walker, Kershaw, Ashall-Bott, Eaves.

Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).

Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.

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