THREE PLAYERS are poised to make their first appearance of this season’s Betfred Qualifiers campaign when Leeds Rhinos face Hull KR at Emerald Headingley tomorrow.
Hooker Matt Parcell is in contention after missing two games owing to rib damage suffered in last month’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Warrington Wolves.
Full-back Jack Walker sustained a hamstring injury in same game and is also included in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad to face KR.
Second-rower Jordan Thompson, who was Cup-tied for the semi-final, missed Leeds’ opening two middle-eights fixtures after picking up a two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle during his debut away to Salford Red Devils in the final round of Super League.
Teenage prop Mikolaj Oledzki, who has made 22 senior appearances for Rhinos this year, is rested.
Still on Rhinos’ casualty list are Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall and Mitch Garbutt, who have all suffered season-ending knee injuries, plus Brett Delaney (fractured cheekbone) and Ash Handley (shoulder).
Dom Crosby will complete a two-game ban today.
Maurice Blair returns for Rovers after a two-match suspension and Justin Carney is available following an ankle injury.
Captain Shaun Lunt – one of five ex-Rhinos players in Rovers’ initial 19 – has recovered from a “minor knock” which kept him out of the win at Toronto Wolfpack two weeks ago, but Lee Jewitt (concussion) and Todd Carney (calf) remain on the casualty list.
James Donaldson suffered a broken bone in a foot against Toronto Wolfpack and is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks. Joe Wardill is omitted.
Leeds Rhinos: from Golding, T Briscoe, L Sutcliffe, Moon, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, Dwyer, Mullally, Keinhorst, Ferres, Peteru, Walker, L Briscoe, Thompson.
Hull KR: from Quinlan, Vaivai, McGuire, Scruton, Lunt, Masoe, Blair, Greenwood, Kavanagh, Clarkson, Lee, Mulhern, Salter, Atkin, Tickle, J Carney, Tomkins, Hall, Crooks
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Today, 3.15pm.