Time at Leeds Rhinos could be up for Adam Cuthberton after Wembley shoulder injury
Veteran forward Adam Cuthbertson could have played his last game for Leeds Rhinos.
Coach Richard Agar confirmed the 35-year-old Australian, who will join York City Knights next season, suffered a fractured shoulder in last weekend’s Coral Challenge Cup final win over Salford Red Devils.
“It is going to be an uphill struggle for him to get back in time,” Agar said of Cuthbertson’s chances of playing again this year.
“He has not given up the ghost, he wants to try and take any measures he can to try and get himself back on the field.
“If we can get into the play-offs I suppose it could give him an outside chance, but it is going to be a struggle for him.”
Cuthbertson played in Rhinos’ treble-winning side five years ago and won a second Grand Final ring in 2017.
Assessing Cuthbertson's contribution, Agar said: "When I took over he wasn’t catching the team every week, but we asked him to hit some markers and we set some targets to get in there.
"When we had those conversations, what I would say is Cuthbo was always the utmost professional. When he didn’t get picked for the Cup semi-final he took it on the chin and said straight away whatever he could do to help the squad he’d do it.
"Given he’ is coming to the end of a pretty successful and illustrious stint at the club, it would have been difficult for him, but he was an utmost professional.
"He has contributed so much and brought his own unique style to the team - as well as coaching the girls side - and as an overseas player coming in, he has been terrific ."
Only seven of Rhinos’ Challenge Cup winning side from last Saturday - Richie Myler, Rob Lui, Ava Seumanufagai, Mikolaj Oledzki, Brad Dwyer, James Donaldson and Alex Sutcliffe - have been named in Agar’s initial squad for Friday's game at Betfred Super League leaders St Helens
The four who missed out from the Wembley 21, Jack Walker, Tom Holroyd, Cameron Smith and Luke Briscoe, could all feature, along with Bodene Thompson - who was Cup-tied last week - and Rhys Evans.
The rest of the squad is made up of young players, along with on-loan Featherstone Rovers forward James Harrison.
Saints’ 21 includes the 17 who hammered Wakefield Trinity 48-6 last week, plus James Graham, Aaron Smith, Joe Batchelor and Josh Simm.
St Helens: from Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Taia, Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Lees, Amor, A Smith, Bentley, Welsby, Batchelor, Simm, Dodd, Graham.
Leeds Rhinos: from Walker, Lui, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Myler, Oledzki, Thompson, Evans, C Smith, McLelland, L Briscoe, Donaldson, A Sutcliffe, Walters, Holroyd, O’Connor, Broadbent, Hall, Tindall, Harrison, Edwards.
Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).
Kick-off: Friday, 7.45pm.
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