Wakefield Trinity v Leeds Rhinos - new signings in contention but some big names missing after squads are named for Super League opener
All three off-season signings have been named in Leeds Rhinos’ initial 21-man squad for Saturday’s Betfred Super League opener against Wakefield Trinity.
Half-back Kyle Eastmond and forwards Zane Tetevano and King Vuniyayawa are in contention to make their debut.
Rhinos coach Richard Agar has refused to confirm if Eastmond, who joined Rhinos earlier this month after a decade in rugby union and has not played since last summer, will feature in the matchday 17.
Captain Luke Gale suffered a pectoral muscle injury in Rhinos’ first pre-season training session, on January 4, but has also been named in the squad.
Seven Rhinos players are unavailable for round one, including five of their first seven squad numbers.
Jack Walker (foot), Harry Newman (broken leg), Konrad Hurrell (calf), Ash Handley (knee) and Rob Lui (quad) will all miss out, along with Tom Holroyd (leg) and Callum McLelland (groin).
With both first-choice centres unavailable, youngster Jack Broadbent is likely to make only his fourth Super League appearance.
Teenage forwards Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor are also in contention.
Trinity have five senior players unavailable.
Max Jowitt, Kyle Wood, Jay Pitts, Eddie Battye and Ryan Hampshire all miss out, but Tom Johnstone and David Fifita are included after missing the warm-up game against Dewsbury Rams two weeks ago.
Joe Arundel could return after a year out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Samoan recruit Mason Lino is poised for his debut.
Leeds Rhinos’ initial 21 is: Tom Briscoe, Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, Alex Mellor, Rhyse Martin, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Richie Myler, Cameron Smith, King Vuniyayawa, Bodene Thompson, Alex Sutcliffe, Sam Walters, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Jarrod O’Connor, Jack Broadbent, Kyle Eastmond.
Wakefield Trinity’s initial 21 is: Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Liam Kay, Jacob Miller, Mason Lino, David Fifita, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Kelepi Tanginoa, Joe Westerman, James Batchelor, Chris Green, Innes Senior, Jordan Crowther, Joe Arundel, Alex Walker, Adam Tangata, Josh Wood, Brad Walker, Yusuf Aydin.
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