Leeds Rhinos welcome back four star players as Rohan Smith makes big halfback call

This afternoon there’s four Super League games to pick from. The Hull derby with a Hull KR side with just 16 players in it will of course attract attention, St Helens will lift the League Leaders’ Shield after their game with Toulouse whilst Salford will determine who goes where as the play-offs begin next week.

But the headline act is of course at Headingley where Leeds host Castleford in a West Yorkshire derby with added spice as the two teams meet in what is effectively a play-off game a week early.

It’s do or die for the two teams. A victory will at least secure sixth place and leave a fifth place finish as a real possibility depending on Salford’s game with Warrington whilst the loser will be consigned to an early holiday as their season ends.

But how have both coaches lined their sides up as they go in search of a massive win in this the most important game of the season so far.

Well the headline where team selection is concerned is the return of Blake Austin after his missed the defeat to Catalans on Monday with a hip injury. Rohan Smith said earlier this week that it was unlikely that Austin would figure today but he does alongside Aidan Sezer who returns from a ban to partner him in the halves with Richie Myler at fullback.

This sees Zak Hardaker move to centre with Tom Briscoe on the wing. It’s a strong starting 13 with squad numbers 4-13 all taking on their corresponding positions.

Ash Handley returns after missing the Catalans game due to the birth of his child.

Cameron Smith returns to the bench and is joined by Morgan Gannon and Jarrod O’Connor whilst Brad Dwyer on his last Headingley appearance will look to cause problems off the bench.

Here’s Leeds’ team in full:

As for Cas the big story is also centred around the halves with Paul McShane and Greg Eden both out of position at six and seven. Adam Milner starts at nine as consequence with Jake Mamo at fullback.

Former Rhinos Alex Mellor and Alex Sutcliffe start at second-row and centre respectively whilst youngsters Brad Martin, Cain Robb and Sam Hall are amongst the subs.

Here’s Castleford’s team in full:

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