Leeds Rhinos: Mac must plug Zak gap at full-back

Kallum Watkins.
Kallum Watkins.
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COACH Brian McDermott will have to go with Plan D at full-back for tonight’s game at Wigan Warriors.

First-choice Zak Hardaker is serving a one-game ban and under-19s full-back Ashton Golding is on the long-term casualty list with a back injury. Liam Sutcliffe, who filled in at full-back for two matches last month when Hardaker was injured, has undergone knee surgery and will not play again this season.

One option would be to move Kallum Watkins, who has played full-back in the past, into the last line of defence, with either Jimmy Keinhorst or Carl Ablett switching from the pack into the centres. Second-row Stevie Ward is sidelined by an ankle injury, but forwards Brad Singleton, Andy Yates, Rob Mulhern and Josh Walters are all vying for a recall. John Bateman, Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb and Sean O’Loughlin are back in contention for Wigan.

Wigan Warriors: from Bowen, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, Williams, Smith, Crosby, McIlorum, Flower, Tomkins, L Farrell, O’Loughlin, Powell, Mossop, Tautai, Patrick, Bateman, Clubb.

Leeds Rhinos: from Watkins, Handley, Ablett, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Keinhorst, Delaney, Cuthbertson, Garbutt, Burrow, Singleton, Yates, Walters, Mulhern.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).