Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith confirms star’s fracture as he reveals why Harry Newman might not actually play against Catalans Dragons

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith has included Harry Newman in his 21-man squad to face the Catalans Dragons on Friday night.

There was devastation amongst the West Yorkshire club when Newman limped off in the defeat against St Helens earlier in the season, but he was a surprise inclusion earlier on today.

In his pre-match conference, Smith revealed what are the actual chances of the England centre playing after another hamstring injury.

“I wasn’t confident when the first injury occurred, but the progress, diligence and expertise that’s gone into this rehab has accelerated these chances,” Smith said.

“He is one of the most dangerous players to contend with if he is out there.

“Harry’s has got difficult testing to get through. He is a motivated character and likes to fill himself with optimism and positivity and that is why we wanted to include him in the 21.

“Let’s see if it’s the same from the physio and coaching staff. He will have to pass the measures.”

However, Ash Handley will not feature after fracturing a bone in his foot.

“He’s got a fracture in the fifth metatarsal. It’s currently not in a bad place in terms of fractures but he might yet play for the Rhinos if we reach the Grand Final. That would most likely be his week.

“We’ve got a settled spine and our big guys got through really well it’s just our outside backs that are struggling.”

Meanwhile, Smith believes that that an official review into the Match Review Panel could take place with all the changes occurring at the RFL following Rhyse Martin’s ban.

“The RFL are undergoing massive changes and with that comes change and review and you would imagine based on the amount of talk on the Match Review Panel there would be an official review done.

“It was a glancing touch, there was no swinging arm or intent. players didn’t react, Ben Thaler – who is one of the most experienced refs in the game – and the video ref in his ear and they didn’t pick it up.”

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