FORMER TEAM-MATES turned rivals Kevin Sinfield and Francis Cummins have both made changes to their squad ahead of tomorrow’s crucial relegation battle.
Sinfield, Leeds Rhinos’ director of rugby, has recalled Jimmy Keinhorst, Mikolaj Oledzki, Cameron Smith and Dom Crosby for the trip to Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Qualifiers.
Crosby is available after a two-match ban, while Keinhorst and Oledzki weren’t selected for last week’s defeat by Hull KR. Smith has not featured since Rhinos’ final game of the regular Super League season at the end of July.
Stevie Ward has been named in the initial 19 despite suffering a foot injury against Hull KR, but Rhinos are without Carl Ablett, who damaged a knee injury in that game.
Adam Cuthbertson, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury and was ill during the week, is not included. There is no place for Ashton Golding, who was last week’s 18th man.
Kallum Watkins (knee), Ryan Hall (knee), Brett Delaney (fractured eye socket), Mitch Garbutt (knee) and Ash Handley (shoulder/hamstring) remain on the casualty list.
Widnes’ interim coach Cummins, who preceded Sinfield as Rhinos’ captain, has drafted in Owen Buckley, Charlie Gubb, Joe Lyons, Danny Walker and Sam Wilde, alongside Liam Finn and Jay Chapelhow, who were unused members of last week’s initial squad.
Gubb has recovered from a knee injury suffered against London in round one of the Qualifiers and Lyons is in contention for his debut.
Tom Gilmore, Chris Dean and Gil Dudson were injured in the defeat at Toulouse Olympique and Danny Craven and Matt Whitley also drop out.
Widnes Vikings (from): Ah Van, Buckley, J Chapelhow, Finn, Gubb, Hansen, Hauraki, Heremaia, Houston, Inu, Leuluai, Lyons, Mellor, Olbison, Runciman, D Walker, White, Whitley, Wilde.
Leeds Rhinos (from): T Briscoe, L Sutcliffe, Moon, Myler, Parcell, Singleton, Jones-Buchanan, Ward, Dwyer, Mullally, Keinhorst, Ferres, Peteru, J Walker, Smith, Oledzki, L Briscoe, Crosby, Thompson.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.