Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos: Why injury returnees are giving coach Richard Agar a welcome headache
LEEDS RHINOS boss Richard Agar has some tough selection decisions to make for tomorrow’s elimination play-off at Wigan Warriors - and, for a change, it’s who to leave out rather than bring in.
Four forwards are back in contention, led by Zane Tetevano who is available after completing a three-game ban for a foul on Wigan’s John Bateman in Rhinos’ 14-0 win at DW Stadium a month ago.
Mikolaj Oledzki could return after missing eight matches with a toe injury.
Alex Mellor, who has been sidelined for nine games because of knee ligament damage, is also included in Agar’s initial squad. King Vuniyayawa (foot) could feature following a two-week lay-off and all 17 players on duty in last Friday’s 36-12 win over Hull KR, which secured fifth spot in the final table, have retained their place in Rhinos’ 21.
Agar said: “It’s good to have some selection headaches.
“It’s good to have them back and it’ll certainly strengthen our team and give us some questions on selection.”
Hooker Corey Johnson, who made his first appearance for almost two years when Leeds lost at St Helens a fortnight ago, is ruled out with an ankle problem. Other players still unavailable are Jack Walker (foot), plus knee injury victims Luke Gale, Liam Sutcliffe and Callum McLelland.
Wigan could also have key players back in their side, with Liam Marshall, Brad Singleton, Morgan Smithies, Sam Powell, Liam Farrell and John Bateman all set for a recall.
Joe Bullock (shoulder) and Brad O’Neill drop out from the team which beat Catalans Dragons six days ago.
Jai Field remains on the casualty list with a groin strain, alongside Thomas Leuluai and Bevan French, who both had their season ended early by a hamstring injury.
Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Lui, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Tetevano, Dwyer, Myler, C Smith, Holroyd, Vuniyayawa, Thompson, L Briscoe, Donaldson, Broadbent, Gannon.
Wigan Warriors: from Hardaker, Gildart, Marshall, Singleton, Powell, Isa, Farrell, Bateman, Partington, Smithies, Clubb, Byrne, H Smith, Havard, Bibby, Clark, Shorrocks, Pearce-Paul, Halsall, McDonnell, Hastings.
Referee: Robert Hicks.
Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.
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