Leeds Rhinos are back on the up. They’ve won the last four and six of their last seven and now occupy a play-off spot after Rohan Smith’s revolution.
The main thing threatening the Rhinos’ play-off hopes however is absentees. In Friday’s win over Hull KR, Leeds were without four players through bans as James Bentley also pulled out through injury.
Though three of the suspended quartet could return for Leeds’ next game against Warrington, the same cannot be definitively said of Bentley.
Making matters worse, Harry Newman, Bodene Thompson and Cameron Smith are all doubts for the game after being taken off in the win.
Thompson and Smith went to hospital on Friday night and have since been discharged despite rib and thumb injuries respectively. Newman’s situation may be a bit worse however as he again struggles with a hamstring injury which will see him set for a scan this week with bad news set to end his season.
So, it could be tough for Rohan Smith to pick a team come Friday especially should any more of his players pick up a ban.
However, Leeds will certainly have one player back in the mix who most have forgotten about and that’s young prop Tom Holroyd.
If he takes to the field on Friday it’ll be the first time in 10 months that he’s played for the Rhinos after he picked up a pre-season injury. He regained fitness around May and was being used at Bradford in order to get him back up to speed but a punching incident during his time at Odsal saw him hit with a 10 match ban which concluded this week.
It’s the second season in a row that Holroyd has missed a huge chunk of the season. Last year injury saw him miss the first 10 games of the campaign limiting his impact on the season although he deserves credit for the way he bounced back with some great tries against Leigh and Hull KR.
It’ll be interesting to see if he features on Friday night or is again moved away on dual registration to get up to speed again.
If Leeds are desperate for players, you’d think the young forward would have to feature.