The injury crisis has hit deep in Superleague XIII and Leeds are as much in the wars as the next team. Superstars such as McGuire, Toopi, Jones-Buchanan and Lauiti'iti are all unavailable for selection as Brian McClennan calls up the youngsters once again in a side where the average age is under twenty-four. Take away Senior and Peacock and the average age struggles to get above twenty-two. If this Rhinos side can keep on winning, and stay at the top of the table, then it shows how bright the future is at Headingley.
Paul Cullen's side are without the suspended Westwood, missing his first game for over a season, but will be relieved that the lovable rogue Adrian Morley escaped a similar ban. Lee Briers will be the boss in midfield although if Leeds can get under his skin, age seems to do nothing to give him a more mature attitude. Lightening fast Penny will be a player to watch and the Rhinos centres and wings may well have their hands full with him. Cullens full nineteen is; Reardon, Hicks, M. Gleeson, King, Penny, Briers, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, L. Anderson, V. Anderson, M. Gleeson, Parker, Johnson, Riley, Bracek, Harrison, and Mitchell.
Three Wolves to watch;
Warrington haven't beaten the Rhinos for almost two year with the big 44-16 win at the Halliwell-Jones. That was a day when the now departed Henry Fa'afili tore us apart. You have to go back as far as 2002 and Superleague VII for the last Warrington win at Headingley, when a single point separated the sides. During the Superleague era the Rhinos have won twenty, drawn one and lost just seven times against the Primrose and Blues.
The Wolves were humiliated by the Wildcats at Belle Vue last week managing just two points against a side who should be trying to avoid bottom spot. They also lost the week before against Harlequins, on that occasion managing just a converted try in an 8-6 defeat. Can the Rhinos lose to a side who have only scored eight points in 160 minutes of rugby? After last week you never know.
The bookies have given the Rhinos a ten point handicap for tonights game and I'm hopeful that we'll overturn that.
The Reserve Grade are also in action when they entertain Warrington Wolves with a 5.45pm kick off. They are also suffering with the call ups to the first team but will be looking to extend their 100% start to the season.
It looks like light rain for early evening, and the way that this 'summer' has gone so far, expect that to be more like a downpour.
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