NEW SIGNING Beau Falloon will have to wait for his Leeds Rhinos debut.
The former Gold Coast Titans hooker is set to miss Thursday’s First Utility Super League opener at home to Warrington Wolves after suffering a broken toe in training. Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said Falloon will be assessed this week, but the injury is not believed to be long-term.
Falloon had been due to feature in yesterday’s final pre-season game, which Rhinos lost 32-16 at their Kingstone Press Championship partner club Featherstone Rovers. Leeds included only six players from their senior squad, with the rest of the side being made up of under-19s and trailed 18-0 inside the opening quarter, before staging a spirited rally.
Under-19s coach Chris Plume said: “I thought Featherstone showed their maturity early on. They really took it to us and I think they shocked our young team a little bit. I don’t think it should have done, but it did. After that we gradually worked our way back in and found a way to complete our sets and get a little bit of field position and we managed to score a few tries off that, but it was a tough game.”
Plume felt Rhinos’ academy players will benefit from having played against a team expected to do well in the second tier this season.
“They are old enough to play against blokes, but that physical maturity showed sometimes in the collision,” Plume said. “But they have to start somewhere. It was tough for them, but they will be better players for this experience.”
Rovers will have the option of signing players from Leeds on dual registration. Their coach Jon Sharp said: “I thought it was a good workout for both teams. We had phases in the game when I thought they were really good and we were on the back foot and then times when we had lots of possession and looked dangerous. I think both coaches should be pleased with an industrious workout. Considering the conditions and what we had to play in, both sides were really expansive with the ball and came up with a decent spectacle for the fans.”
Rovers hooker Matty Wildie was stretchered off in the first half with a leg injury, but initial indications are it is not as bad as first feared.