Leeds Rhinos: Broken arm rules Aiton out of Cup final clash with Hull KR

Leeds Rhinos v St Helens Supr Lague fri 3rd july 2015'Paul Aiton
Leeds Rhinos v St Helens Supr Lague fri 3rd july 2015'Paul Aiton
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Luckless Leeds Rhinos hooker Paul Aiton will miss this month’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final after undergoing surgery on a broken arm.

Aiton was hurt in the second half of Friday’s 49-10 drubbing of Warrington Wolves.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital and scans confirmed a break.

He is due to have an operation this weekend and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Rhinos face Hull KR at Wembley on Saturday, August 29.

Aiton is the second Leeds player ruled out out of the final after Jamie Jones-Buchanan was told he will not play again this year due to a quad tear.

Liam Sutcliffe was already on the long-term casualty list, but Stevie Ward and Mitch Achurch could both be available after injury.

Coach Brian McDermott said teenagers Jordan Lilley and Robbie Ward are both in the frame to replace Aiton.

They were both set to play for Hunslet Hawks on dual-registration away to Dewsbury Rams on Sunday.

But players who feature for one side in the Super-8s stage of the season become club tied and unavailable for any other team, so the duo will have to be withdrawn from the Championship outfit’s squad to be available for Rhinos.

Aiton, who this week signed a three-year deal with Catalans Dragons to begin next season, was appearing his 40th consecutive game for Rhinos.

He now faces a race to be back for the play-offs and Grand Final, if Rhinos qualify.

McDermott said: “It is terrible news for Paul. He has been great for us this year and has been a key player in how we play.

“The nature of professional sport is that you can never choose when you might pick up an injury like this and the timing is personally tough for Paul and what he will miss out on.

“However, he will do everything he can to be back before the end of the Super-8s and I am sure he will have a say on this season for us. In his absence we are fortunate to have an outstanding hooker in Rob Burrow and he will be supported by two very talented young players in Jordan Lilley and Robbie Ward.”

Aiton was joined in the ambulance on his trip to hospital by Charlie, a young Leeds Underdogs player, who was hurt during one of the half-time games on Friday night.

The second half of the Super League match was delayed as he was treated by medics, including Rhinos doctor Jon Power, before being stretchered off .

His parents - who were not identified by the club - contacted Rhinos to confirm x-rays had revealed no serious damage.

They added: “Thanks to everyone for their support, Charlie has his 15 minutes of fame and is now best mates with Paul Aiton.

“Leeds Underdogs would like to also thank everyone that was involved from both Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves especially the medical staff from both sides. We would also like to thank the fans and other amateur clubs for their well wishes and support for our young player,”

Tom Briscoe.

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