Stalwarts Ablett and Hardman on the brink of personal milestones

Carl Ablett
Carl Ablett
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LONG-SERVING duo Carl Ablett and Ian Hardman are both set to reach a personal milestone when Leeds Rhinos play host to Featherstone Rovers tonight in a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Rhinos second-rower Ablett is one game away from his 300th career appearance. He has played 287 games for Leeds since 2004, to go with seven for England (2012-2013) and five on loan at London Broncos in 2005.

Tonight’s tie will be full-back Ian Hardman’s 250th match for Rovers. Hardman – who works for the Leeds Rhinos Foundation – made his Featherstone debut in a 32-6 Northern Rail Cup win at Doncaster on February 15, 2009.

Rhinos winger Ryan Hall needs four tries to reach 250 – and 1,000 points – for his career. He has touched down 214 times for Leeds since 2007, to go with 32 tries for England since 2009.

Winger Ash Handley and prop Jordan Baldwinson, who has been playing on dual-registration for Rovers, are in contention for a Rhinos recall.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan is suspended and Rob Burrow is expected to miss out again due to a shoulder injury, despite being named in the initial 19-man squad. On-loan Rhinos half-back Cory Aston is set to return for Rovers, along with Jason Walton, Brad Tagg and Luke Cooper. Leeds’ Jack Ormondroyd drops out.