Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC: Key players return for Cup semi-finalists

Stevie Ward.
Stevie Ward.
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BOTH TEAMS will be close to full-strength for today’s sold-out Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.

Leeds Rhinos are still without Rob Burrow (shoulder), Keith Galloway (Achilles) and Brett Delaney (both knees), but welcome back 10 players who did not feature in last week’s 34-0 defeat at Wigan Warriors.

Joel Moon (Achilles), Matt Parcell (neck), Kallum Watkins (concussion and knee), Ryan Hall (concussion), Danny McGuire (hamstring), Adam Cuthbertson (knee), Stevie Ward (concussion) and Brad Singleton (calf) are expected to return today.

Brett Ferres has been named in Rhinos’ initial squad after missing four games due to minor knee surgery and Liam Sutcliffe (hamstring) is also in contention following a three-game layoff.

Jack Walker, Alex Sutcliffe, Harry Newman, Jordan Baldwinson, Jack Ormondroyd, Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki and Harvey Whiteley drop out from last week’s team.

Smith and Oledzki have rejoined Bradford Bulls on a month’s loan. Walker, Alex Sutcliffe, Newman and Whiteley played for Rhinos under-19s in a 26-14 win over Widnes Vikings on Thursday, along with Josh Jordan-Roberts who is included in today’s 19.

Albert Kelly is expected to return from injury for Hull and Misi Matongo is also added to the 17 who beat Huddersfield Giants eight days ago. Steve Michaels (ankle) remains on the casualty list.

Leeds Rhinos: from Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, L Sutcliffe, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Ferres, Mullally, Lilley, Jordan-Roberts.

Hull: from Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Ellis, Connor, Green, Washbrook, Manu, Bowden, Fash, Matongo.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).

Kick-off: Today, 2.30pm.