Leeds Rhinos v Leigh Centurions: Ablett’s return offers Mac more options

Carl Ablett. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Carl Ablett. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS RHINOS are set to be lifted by the return of three key players and former internationals when they take on Leigh Centurions at Headingley tonight.

Carl Ablett has been given the all-clear after missing the last nine games due to a knee problem suffered in the defeat at Warrington Wolves on April 7.

Liam Sutcliffe. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Liam Sutcliffe. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

He could slot straight back into the second-row in place of Stevie Ward who is serving a one-match ban after he admitted grade B punching in last Friday’s win over Warrington.

Alternatively, Ablett’s return will give coach Brian McDermott an extra option at centre where Leeds are still missing long-term casualty Jimmy Keinhorst.

Liam Sutcliffe started at centre last Friday, but was moved to full-back for Monday’s defeat at Widnes Vikings in place of hamstring victim Ashton Golding who is still on the casualty list, so winger Ash Handley played out of position.

Front-rower Keith Galloway has also recovered from knee surgery – which kept him out of action for three games – and is poised to return tonight.

Captain Danny McGuire, who missed Monday’s setback due to a foot injury, is included in the initial 19-man squad.

Back-rower Brett Delaney (knee) remains on the injured list.

Leigh are without veteran Australian forward Glenn Stewart after he suffered a head knock in Monday’s 38-0 home loss to Castleford Tigers.

Centre Ben Crooks is beginning a two-game suspension after admitting a grade B dangerous contact charge.

Curtis Naughton, Dane Weston, Ryan Hampshire and Harrison Hansen are the players vying for a call into Leigh’s 17.