Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - all you need to know
Leeds Rhinos will aim to end a five-game Super League losing run against Wigan Warriors on Thursday.
Here's all the essential information for the big game.
Fixture: Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors.
Competition: Betfred Super League round three.
At: Emerald Headingley.
On: Thursday, April 15.
Coverage: Sky Sports. Our League for season ticket holders.
Tickets: No admission for fans - the game will be played behind closed doors.
Wigan’s coach: Adrian Lam 50, played for Papua New Guinea, Queensland and Sydney Roosters before a spell with Wigan from 2001-2004. He has coached PNG and been an assistant at the Roosters and St George-Illawarra. He was due to coach Wigan for a year, but got the job on a long-term basis after Shaun Edwards backed out.
Wigan’s star man: Playing at full-back has brought out former Man of Steel Zak Hardaker’s best form. The ex-Leeds star is an outstanding defender, but also causes problems with his pace and footwork when he joins the attacking line - and he kicks goals as well.
Key battle: It’s a big game for Wigan’s Brad Singleton who is facing his former club for the first time. Mikolaj Oledzki has effectively taken Singleton’s place and will be keen to show the form which earned him a call into the England training squad this week.
Wigan’s form: Wigan topped the table last year and have begun this season with two Super League wins, against Leigh Centurions - hitting back from 18-0 down - and Wakefield Trinity and a Challenge Cup defeat of York City Knights. They haven’t conceded a point in their last three halves of rugby.
Previous meeting: August 16, 2020. Betfred Super League round nine. Wigan Warriors 28 (Tries French 2, Farrell, Manfredi, Bibby. Goals Hardaker 4), Leeds Rhinos 10 (Tries T Briscoe, L Sutcliffe. Goal Martin). Referee: Robert Hicks. At TW Stadium, St Helens.
Last five results (most recent first): Rhinos LLWLW, Wigan WWWLW.
Super League head to head: Wigan have won 42, Leeds have won 29 and there have been four draws. Wigan’s highest score and widest margin was 68-14 at Central Park in 1996. Leeds’ highest score and widest margin was 70-0 at home in 2005.
Milestones: Wigan's Zak Hardsaker needs 1,000 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Rhinos injuries: Jack Walker (foot), Harry Newman (broken leg), Konrad Hurrell (calf muscle), Ash Handley (knee), Rob Lui (quad muscle), Luke Gale (broken thumb), Richie Myler (hamstring), Tom Holroyd (leg), King Vuniyayawa (concussion), Callum McLelland (groin).
Suspension: Zane Tetevano is beginning a four-match ban
Team news: Kyle Eastmond has been named in Rhinos’ initial squad and coach Richard Agar says he will make his debut. Liam Sutcliffe (knee) and Bodene Thompson (ribs) are included after missing last week’s defeat by St Helens. Levi Edwards, 17, is in contention for his debut and Corey Hall could be recalled, but King Vuniyayawa drops out due to concussion and Zane Tetevano begins a four-game ban. Wigan will be without Liam Byrne, who was suspended for one game following an incident in last Friday's Challenge Cup win at York City Knights. Bevan French comes into the squad and Liam Farrell and Thomas Leuluai will return after being rested last week. Mitch Clark is also in contention, along with James McDonnell.
Rhinos' squad is: Tom Briscoe, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, Alex Mellor, Rhyse Martin, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Cameron Smith, Bodene Thompson, Alex Sutcliffe, Sam Walters, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Jarrod O’Connor, Jack Broadbent, Corey Hall, Levi Edwards, Morgan Gannon, Kyle Eastmond.
Wigan's 21 is: Bevan French, Zak Hardaker, Thomas Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Oliver Partington, Morgan Smithies, Tony Clubb, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Jake Bibby, Mitch Clark, Joe Shorrocks, Sam Halsall, James McDonnell, Umyla Hanley, Jackson Hastings.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield). Video referee: Ben Thaler.
Next game: Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers (Betfred Super League round four, Thursday, April 22, at DW Stadium, 6pm); Hull KR v Leeds Rhinos (Betfred Super League round four, Friday, April 23, at Hull College, Craven Park, 6pm).
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