Leeds Rhinos struck by late injury blow ahead of Salford Red Devils clash as three men return including impressive youngster

Today Leeds Rhinos host Salford knowing that a win would take them into the top six for the first time this season.

The team currently in sixth though of course is Salford Red Devils who could build a bigger lead on both Leeds and Hull FC with a win cementing their standing within the top six as we enter the last five games of the season.

So, a massive match and a meeting of the two form teams in the league having beaten the top two by a combined score of 86-24 over the last two rounds. You feel it’s a game that could define either team’s season.

In terms of team news, Leeds have been struck by a bit of a blow with James Donaldson missing out through a knee injury which sees Cameron Smith returning to the starting 13 at loose-forward having been the Rhinos’ super sub last week in the dramatic comeback win over Catalans in which he helped catalyse the 24-point fight back with a lovely break and an assist for Richie Myler’s first of three shortly after Matt Prior was sin binned in what seemed to be a killer blow for the Rhinos though it would go on to galvanise them as they went on to achieve one of Super League’s all time great comebacks.

Prior’s red card led to a two-match ban and he’s replaced by Zane Tetevano on the bench who himself returns from a ban. His was a five match suspension picked up in a defeat to St Helens.

He’s also joined on the bench by Sam Walters who returns from injury. He takes Smith’s spot on the bench as Bodene Thompson quite rightly starts again after some great performances in recent weeks playing out of position as a prop despite enjoying his time at second row the most.

The final change for the Rhinos is the return of David Fusitu’a on the wing for Liam Tindall. Fusitu’a was absent last week due to the birth of his second child.

Salford haven’t made any changes to their 13 naming the same side that battered St Helens last week 44-12 although this time Dan Sarginson is officially named at fullback whereas last week he was officially down as a centre with Deon Cross at fullback.

Shane Wright does return to the bench for his first game since Round 6 as Ryan Brierley comes back from his head knock. It means Salford start with two pivots on the bench in him and Chris Atkin.

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