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Leeds Rhinos hint at early team news as Jack Sinfield one of four to exit club on dual reg

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that four of their squad will play for dual registration partners Halifax Panthers this weekend with Jack Sinfield among those names in a controversial move.

Rohan Smith’s Rhinos have been struggling of late so the decision to send the prodigal son out on dual registration ahead of a clash against St Helens could be one that goes down poorly with fans, particularly if Leeds struggle for a result tonight.

The club’s 26-0 loss to Catalans Dragons in France arguably reads better on paper than in reality with all of John Wells, Jon Wilkin and Brian Carney in shock at how flat the Rhinos were on their visit to Perpignan with an under-par Catalans making light work of them.

In the fortnight that has passed since then, hooker Corey Johnson has gone out on dual registration to Halifax Panthers before being recalled to the squad for tonight’s game. However, now, Johnson has been named in Fax’s squad alongside Sinfield and two other young Rhinos.

Leeds Rhinos quartet head out on dual registration

Leeds Rhinos v London Broncos Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 03/05/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 10 - Leeds Rhinos v London Broncos - AMT Headingley, Leeds, England - Leeds Jack Sinfield thanks the fans and supporters after a Super League win against London Broncos.

Credit: Imago Images

It had been assumed that Johnson’s inclusion in the 21-man squad to face St Helens, announced on Wednesday at midday, meant that he was back in the frame to face Saints.

That’s evidently not been the case with three of the 21-man squad now set to play for Halifax meaning that Leeds Rhinos have effectively given Paul Wellens and his side their matchday squad six hours early.

Alongside both Sinfield and Johnson are Ned McCormack and Leon Ruan, meaning that one of Tom Nicholson-Watton or Ben Littlewood will likely be featuring against St Helens tonight.

Leeds Rhinos fans will have no issue promoting the youth but there have been serious question marks over half-back Matt Frawley and the questions will now likely be, ‘Why is Frawley partnering Brodie Croft and not Sinfield?’

As for Ned McCormack, he’s performed excellently in the centres but with the return of Harry Newman it makes sense, whilst Leon Ruan’s loss also brings question marks given Leeds’ failure to dominate in the middle of the field with their pack often struggling.

Ruan is a big-bodied second-rower who plenty of fans would be calling out to be given a chance.

After Fax shared news of their squad, Leeds Rhinos confirmed the short-term exit of the four players via social media.

They posted: “Corey Johnson, Jack Sinfield, Leon Ruan and Ned McCormack will all feature for @HalifaxPanthers this Sunday as part of the club’s dual registration partnership with the Championship club.”

Fax face Doncaster, another club that Ruan has featured for so far this season in a short-term loan deal.

Meanwhile Leeds Rhinos kick off tonight on Sky Sports at 8pm with coverage beginning at 7.30pm. Details of that game and all other rugby league games on TV can be found here.

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