KEY TRIO Joel Moon, Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield are all expected to feature for Leeds Rhinos against Bradford Bulls in Jamie Peacock’s testimonial match on Sunday.
Half-back/hooker Burrow, skipper/stand-off Sinfield and centre Moon have missed Rhinos’ three pre-season games so far, but are in full training and coach Brian McDermott plans to give them a chance to prove their match fitness just two weeks ahead of Leeds’ First Utility Super League opener at Hull KR.
Burrow has undergone treatment for a long-term groin problem which he aggravated in last year’s Challenge Cup final win over Castleford Tigers and Moon and Sinfield both had off-season knee surgery.
McDermott will check on all three before finalising his squad for Sunday, but intends to field his first-choice line-up with only Brett Delaney – recovering from a knee operation – and eye injury victim Mitch Achurch likely to be unavailable.
Moon had surgery on both knees following the end of last season, but has his sights set on Sunday, despite only getting back into full training yesterday.
“I have just started training back with the boys this week,” said the Australian No 4. “I feel good. I am getting my fitness back and I’m looking forwards to the season.
“I am ready to go Sunday, but it’s just up to Mac to see if he wants me in and I am fit to play. Just building up the muscle around the knee is the big concern – and getting confidence back in it.”
Sunday’s game is Rhinos’ only full-scale warm-up match ahead of the new campaign. Rhinos will field a mixture of academy players and fringe first teamers in their final pre-season game at Doncaster on February 1.