Featherstone v Leeds Rhinos: Ward is Rhinos’ only major injury absence for Qualifiers opener

Stevie Ward.
Stevie Ward.
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LEEDS RHINOS could field their strongest team of the season in today’s First Utility Qualifiers opener at Featherstone Rovers.

Only Stevie Ward, who has not played in 2016, is unavailable due to injury and Danny McGuire (foot), Joel Moon (knee) and Brett Delaney (illness) could all return. Jordan Lilley drops out from the team which won at Hull KR. He is fit to play, but has been restricted in training due to a shoulder problem. Ashton Golding, who was an unused substitute for that game and played on dual-registration for Featherstone later the same weekend, keeps his place in Rhinos’ squad. Rovers are without Golding and another Leeds man – forward Anthony Mullally – from the team that beat Bradford Bulls 20-0 to clinch fourth place in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Josh Walters [on loan, Leeds], James Duckworth, Danny Craven, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, and Luke Cooper are in contention for a call-up. Duckworth, Kyle Briggs and Darrell Griffin are ex-Leeds players and Ian Hardman works for Rhinos’ Foundation.

Featherstone: from Ellis, Duckworth, Tagg, L Briscoe, Ormondroyd, Thackeray, Channing, Griffin, Briggs, Hardman, Davies, Craven, Bostock, Cooper, Snitch, Baldwinson, Taulapapa, Spears, Walters.

Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Galloway, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sutcliffe, Delaney, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Achurch, Golding, Ferres, Segeyaro.

Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).

Kick-off: Today, 3pm.