GERMAN INTERNATIONAL Jimmy Keinhorst has a foot in both camps this week.
The Leeds Rhinos centre is on loan at Widnes Vikings and his two sides collide in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round tomorrow.
Rhinos announced after the draw was made that Keinhorst will not be allowed to play against them this week, to avoid him becoming Cup-tied.
It is an unusual situation, but not unique – even for Keinhorst.
“When the draw was made I thought ‘not again’,” he said.
“The same thing happened when I was on loan at Wakefield a few years ago, they drew each other in the first round they could.
When the draw was made I thought ‘not again’. The same thing happened when I was on loan at Wakefield a few years ago, they drew each other in the first round they could.Jimmy Keinhorst
“It is a bit weird, but I will see how it goes this week.”
Keinhorst is training with Widnes during his loan spell so has not been around Leeds’ camp in the lead-up to a meeting of two sides struggling for form.
Players on loan at part-time clubs return to Leeds during the week and train with their temporary side when required.
The 27-year-old will be at tomorrow’s game and when asked who he wants to win, he said: “Either or, [whatever happens] I will be able to play in the next round!”
But he stressed: “My allegiance is with Leeds. I am a Leeds player and they could recall me. If they do, hopefully I will go back and do a job.
“That’s how it is at the moment.”
Rhinos have lost their last four games at Widnes, their last win there being in 2014.
“I have been on the end of a couple of them,” said Keinhorst. “Widnes will be confident. They were obviously disappointed after the loss against Huddersfield last week, which was quite a big one for us, and they’ll be looking to turn things around and bounce back. It is probably the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Keinhorst was not picked for Rhinos’ opening game of the season, but came in at late notice against Hull KR in Betfred Super League round two and scored a match-winning hat-trick.
After playing in the World Club Challenge away to Melbourne Storm he suffered a knee injury in a 23-6 defeat at Widnes and his spot was taken by Ash Handley.
Handley’s form meant Keinhorst was not able to get back in the side when he returned to fitness and Widnes stepped in to offer him time on the field.
“It’s good,” he said of the arrangement. “Obviously I need to get some game time after my injury. I’ve not played for a while and it’s good to do that and get a couple of 80 minutes under my belt. It is good for me.
“Results have not gone our way, that’s the negative side of things, but I won’t be playing this week and we’ll see what happens after that and how we can move on and target a win.”
Of his form at Widnes, Keinhorst added: “I don’t think I’ve done anything too special, but I am fitting into a new team and new systems. It is a great club, they have given me an opportunity and I want to repay them with a couple of good games.”
Meanwhile, first-team squad members Harry Newman, Alex Sutcliffe and Cameron Smith have been named in the Rhinos under-19s side to face Newcastle Thunder at Stanningley tonight (7pm).