Rohan Smith explains Zak Hardaker and Richie Myler positional switches

Last week as Leeds went down to Salford 23-8 in a disappointing new dawn for the club, Zak Hardaker made his second debut for the Rhinos.

He started the game at centre a role he played in when he won his first Grand Final with Leeds in 2011 even scoring in the decider playing in the role and scoring a hat trick in the playoffs at Huddersfield.

However, within the next 12 months he’d switched to fullback picked up the Young Player of the Year before going on to win the Man of Steel as Leeds fullback in 2015 whilst winning a further two Grand Finals.

He then joined Cas and played fullback before spending his time playing centre mostly for Wigan.

However, after a few years at centre and set for his home debut in coach Rohan Smith’s first game at Headingley, Hardaker plays at fullback in a switch which sees Richie Myler move to the halves allowing Kruise Leeming to return to nine and Brad Dwyer to move to the bench as impact sub.

It also sees Liam Sutcliffe and Rhyse Martin take over in the centres in a team which uses 15 of the 17 who played last week – with Sutcliffe and Morgan Gannon replacing Sam Walters and Jack Broadbent – but in a different order and Smith has explained the changes on the Rhinos Twitter as he looks ahead to his home debut as coach.

“Yeah a bit of a shuffle around there,” Smith said, “Hardaker at fullback and Myler in the halves. I feel like that’s the best way to go this week. Richie’s got a strong voice and a lot of experience. He’s looking forward to getting his hands on the ball a little bit more and linking with Blake Austin. Kruise is back to dummyhalf and looking forward to the four of those guys combining in the spine.”

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