AUSTRALIAN RECRUIT Adam Cuthbertson will make his first appearance for Leeds Rhinos in the Tetley’s Festive Challenge showdown with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Boxing Day.
The former Newcastle Knights forward has been named at prop in a Rhinos line-up which includes six members of this year’s Challenge Cup final-winning team.
“The players are looking forward to having a run out,” said Rhinos coach Brian McDermott.
“Adam has impressed everyone with how he has settled in and I am sure he will be keen to play at Headingley Carnegie (on Boxing Day).”
Kylie Leulaui and Paul Aiton will pack down alongside Cuthbertson in the front-row, with England winger Tom Briscoe out of position at centre, Danny McGuire and Liam Sutcliffe partnered as half-backs and Jamie Jones-Buchanan in the second-row.
Other members of Rhinos’ top-20 squad due to feature on Boxing Day are centre Jimmy Keinhorst, second-row Mitch Achurch, loose-forward Stevie Ward and prop Brad Singleton, who is on the bench.
Andy Yates is set to make his first appearance for Leeds, more than a year after joining them from Hunslet Hawks.
The former St Helens academy prop, who has been named among the substitutes, suffered an Achilles injury in pre-season training 13 months ago, then tore a biceps during his comeback game on dual-registration for Hunslet last summer.
Ashton Golding, Ash Handley and Robbie Ward will back up af
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ter starring for England academy in last weekend’s Test win over Australian Schoolboys.
James Duckworth is back at Leeds after spending last season with London Broncos and Hunslet and will be on the left-wing.
Rhinos will be without senior players including Joel Moon, Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Brett Delaney due to injury and Zak Hardaker, Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall have yet to report back for training following England duty.
The team in full is: Golding, Handley, Keinhorst, T Briscoe, Duckworth, Sutcliffe, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Achurch, S Ward. Subs Singleton, Yates, Walters, Mulhern, R Ward, Lilley.