Leeds Rhinos welcome back two stars as Rohan Smith names surprise bench

There’s a huge game live on Sky Sports tonight. When you hear that said on a Wednesday, usually it’s about football but the League Cup action over at Elland Road can’t hold a candle to the seismic clash between play-off contenders which is set to unfold down the road at Headingley.

Tonight the fifth place Leeds Rhinos take on the third place Huddersfield Giants. For the Giants, the game represents another chance to heap the pressure on Wigan as they look to nick second place from the Warriors.

Meanwhile, the Rhinos can put pressure on Catalans as they surprisingly become a threat to the top four. However, the magic number for Leeds at present is still the number six – the Rhinos are hoping to secure a spot within the coveted top six and a win tonight would help that cause to no end.

However, the Giants are one of just two teams in the league Leeds are yet to beat in 2022 playing out a thrilling draw at Headingley over Easter in which a late Innes Senior try sent the game to golden point where no treasured moment was forthcoming.

Oddly, should Leeds miss out on the top six, that dropped point may be the difference but destiny is well and truly in their hands as we enter the last three rounds and Rohan Smith has named his team in the pursuit of fulfilling a positive destiny for the Rhinos.

The headline is of course the return of skipper Kruise Leeming. The former Huddersfield man has pulled off a miraculous comeback to return from a fractured foot to lead the side against his former club.

He comes onto the bench as Brad Dwyer takes over at nine allowing Jarrod O’Connor to fill the role vacated by the injured Cameron Smith as a ball playing forward to come off the bench.

Joining Leeming and O’Connor on the bench is centre/winger Tom Briscoe who also returns from a lengthy injury in a strange move from Smith to name a back on the bench against such a physical Huddersfield side.

His place in the side sees Sam Walters miss out. Most of the side is as you were last week with David Fusitu’a returning to replace the injured Liam Tindall whist Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer remain in the halves.

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