Leeds Rhinos are set to face Hull FC on Saturday with the game being a must win for both sides as they chase the playoffs from four points behind with just eight to play for.
The Rhinos lost to Huddersfield Giants last weekend whereas Warrington defeated Hull FC meaning that the two teams playoff push has been dented massively.
Now one team will fall out of contention completely as the third battle of the Smith’s takes place this season between Uncle Tony and Nephew Rohan.
Both teams had named squads for the game with some key players missing out but the Rhinos have now confirmed that one of their stars is set to miss the game.
That is Nene Macdonald who remains in Australia following the birth of his child with the club confirming that the centre won’t feature tomorrow.
They shared the news via a post on social media platform X.
Leeds Rhinos can confirm that Nene Macdonald has remained in Australia following the birth of his child this week. The centre had been due to return at the end of the week and was included in the Rhinos initial 21 man squad to play Hull FC on Saturday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/a9JnV7kBsC
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) September 1, 2023
It’s a much changed squad for the Rhinos with half back Aidan Sezer has been ruled out after suffering a concussion in training with James Bentley also stood down whilst he follows the mandatory return to play protocols following his concussion last week at Huddersfield.
Leeds welcome back winger David Fusitu’a and forward James McDonnell after they have recovered from back spasm injuries.
As well as Sezer and Bentley through concussion, the Rhinos are also without Richie Myler, Zane Tetevano, Justin Sangare and Corey Johnson through injury, whilst Macdonald is now added to this list.
As for Hull FC,
Tony Smith has made three changes to the side that lined up against Warrington last weekend, with Jake Trueman dropping out having suffered a ruptured Achilles, and Darnell McIntosh and Davy Litten sidelined with hand and back injuries respectively.
The trio are replaced in the squad by Tex Hoy, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, Danny Houghton who returns after completing his head injury assessment protocols, and Hull FC Academy and Yorkshire Academy prop Cobie Wainhouse, with the 17-year old named in a senior squad for the first time.
Hull remain without Ligi Sao who continues his recovery from a knee injury, while Mitieli Vulikijapani continues his recovery from knee surgery.