Five questions from the weekend’s pre-season clashes

Over the weekend we saw Leigh Leopards, Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Hull FC in action.

But what questions popped up because of these friendlies?

How will Tony Smith fit in his three hookers?
Yesterday against Sheffield Eagles, Tony Smith started Joe Lovodua at hooker but Danny Houghton and Brad Dwyer came on to combine and score a key try in a comeback win. The question is how will Tony Smith use these three number nines and what role with Dwyer player whilst wearing the number 33 shirt?

When will Wesley Bruines get his chance at St Helens
An exciting young player who St Helens have brought in from down under though was born in Dewsbury, he made his first appearance for the club when he scored and ran well against Swinton Lions over the weekend. A promising youngster, when will he get his chance in a star-studded squad?

Who will start in the centres for Leeds Rhinos come Round One?
Derrell Olpherts, Ash Handley, Luis Roberts and Levi Edwards all enjoyed minutes at centre on Saturday for Leeds Rhinos and David Fusitu’a was originally named in the centres as well until illness ended his chances of playing. With Harry Newman and Nene MacDonald both doubts for Round One, it will be interesting to see who starts in the centres for Leeds against Warrington Wolves.

Can Leigh Leopards make the play-offs?
The Leopards competed blow for blow with Leeds on Saturday and a late Zak Hardaker try won the game for them. This begs the question, can they make the play-offs in 2023 with the hype around them?

Will Huddersfield and Castleford be impacted by missed friendlies?
This week will mark three weeks until the opening game of Super League and both Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers missed out on a pre-season friendly due to frozen pitches. Will this impact their ability to get up to speed for Round One?

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