In what was once one of the biggest games in Super League, Leeds Rhinos host Bradford Bulls today as both clubs prepare for a big year as the Rhinos look to back up their Grand Final appearance in 2022 whilst the Bulls are now seen as one of the favourites for promotion in 2023.
Always a big game when these sides meet, it is a chance for both sides to build some momentum ahead of the start of the Super League season especially for the Bulls as they prepare for their opening Championship clash with Whitehaven.
Here is everything you need to know about today’s game:
The game kicks off at 14:30 at Headingley.
Fans can watch the game on the OurLeague App for a fee of £10 today unless you paid the £4.99 early bird price.
Rohan Smith has named his side for Sunday’s friendly against Bradford Bulls at Headingley.
Once again Ash Handley starts at fullback for the third game in a row hinting that Rohan Smith could use him there in Super League.
Usual fullback Richie Myler starts in the halves with Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin absent. Instead, he is joined by Morgan Gannon who for the third time features in the halves.
There is a first appearance of pre-season for Rhyse Martin at centre whilst Cameron Smith returns from elbow surgery to start at loose-forward.
James Bentley is expectantly absent whilst David Fusitu’a again misses out after being a late withdrawal against Leigh Leopards last week through illness.
He has been at the heart of discussions this week after rumours surfaced down under that he was unhappy and wanted an NRL return.
Liam Tindall and Luis Roberts both start on the wings with Derrell Olpherts again at centre.
Sam Lisone has a first start in a Leeds shirt and Jarrod O’Connor comes into the hooking role with no Kruise Leeming.
Sam Walters at prop and James McDonnell and Leon Ruan at second-row make up the 13.
Tom Holroyd and James Donaldson start on the bench as does Jack Sinfield and Levi Edwards after they featured against Leigh.
The rest of the bench is made up of academy stars.
The game kicks off at 14:30 on Sunday and can be watched on the OurLeague app.
Here is the squad in full:
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith has named his starting line up for this Sunday’s game against Bradford Bulls at Headingley for the Keith Howard Foundation Trophy, kick off 2.30pm.
🤝 In partnership with @BoardrmUK #YourFutureOurPassion
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) January 27, 2023
Bradford Bulls have named their squad for their clash against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday giving a debut to their new signing Josh Johnson.
Johnson joins after his release from Widnes Vikings and previously played Salford Red Devils, Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants. Speaking of former Huddersfield players, new skipper Michael Lawrence is absent once again after illness.
“We’re not going to risk anybody. Dec Patton will play this weekend, Michael Lawrence I’m not sure yet. He’s had an illness, it’s nothing to worry about. He’s got to tick some boxes for him to be selected like anybody. Although he is our club captain he, the same applies to him. He has to do things on the training field for us to select him.
“I’m certainly not going to risk him if he’s not 100% because that’s when you start to pick up soke niggly injuries. If I have to wrap Michael Lawrence up in cotton wool, then I will.
“He’s missed a couple of weeks of training that’s all. He’s had an illness and missed a couple of weeks of training.”
Meanwhile, former Leeds Rhinos duo Jack Walker and Bodene Thompson will both feature with Thompson making his debut.
Here is the squad in full:
👥 | Head coach Mark Dunning has named a 22-man squad to make the trip to Headingley Stadium – with new recruit Josh Johnson poised to make his debut.
📖 | Full details!
— Bradford Bulls (@OfficialBullsRL) January 27, 2023