Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith on how he identified new signing, David Fusitu’a injury and whether Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer will return

Leeds Rhinos have been rocked in recent weeks over injuries.

The likes of Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Harry Newman and Kruise Leeming have all been out for major parts of the season, but things are starting to look up in that regard.

Even though David Fusitu’a was taken off by head coach Rohan Smith towards the back end of the big win over Wigan Warriors last week, Smith has confirmed that he will play against Catalans Dragons on Saturday.

“We’ve got through pretty well, Fusitu’a got replaced at the back end of the game but he’s trained today and everyone else has got through,” Smith said.

“Austin and Sezer are close and both have participated in training today. We will make a call (on those two) on Friday.”

For Smith, his roster is a ‘moving part’ with the former Bradford Bulls boss explaining his current transfer policy.

One of those new recruits that Smith has brought in is Wigan Warriors centre James McDonnell and Smith has revealed just how impressed he has been by the young star.

“I was actually watching many games on video at the start and I watched a couple of other players in the game and I saw James do a few things that I was impressed with,” Smith said.

“He’s got good leg speed and enjoys the collision. I did a bit of investigating and met him in person – he’s a terrific young man and he’s got terrific potential.

“I think it’s the right mix, we’ve got a lot of experienced players at the back end of their careers with a number of games under their belt.”

Leeds will go up against the Dragons on Saturday night and this will be a different experience to the one that the West Yorkshire club faced a fortnight ago against Toulouse Olympique.

“It’s a much different trip this time. We had 12 hours transit on a Friday night for a Saturday night game then an eight hour transit coming home for a Thursday game the week after.

“This time we are going in and out the same day which I’ve not done before over here.”

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