Leeds Rhinos without five injured stars as Warrington squad delayed by tribunal

Super League is back this week and it starts with a bang in a game that has been a Grand Final in the past as Warrington Wolves host Leeds Rhinos on Thursday night in a repeat of the 2012 Grand Final.

These two teams have met in the opening games of the 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2016 seasons with the Wolves winning three of the four prior meetings.

When these two sides meet on the opening day one usually goes on to contest at least one major final by the end of the season. Will it be the case in 2023?

It is an interesting game with the Rhinos coming into the season on the back of making an unlikely Grand Final in 2022 under Rohan Smith who has now enjoyed his first pre-season at Headingley.

The Rhinos have decided to reduce the average age of their squad allowing some star players to leave and bringing in some stars of the future.

The Wolves have done the opposite approach after finishing 11th in 2022. Daryl Powell has brought in some top stars in the middle of the field to revitalise his pack as he brings in plenty of experience to the club.

Both sides are enigmas going into the new season and both will be keen to start with a win after all they both know what bad form can do to a season.

As they both look to start with a bang, squad news has been released.

Rohan Smith has named his initial 21 man squad for the game with new signings Leon Ruan, Justin Sangare, Luis Roberts, Sam Lisone, James McDonnell and Derrell Olpherts all included.

The Rhinos are without Nene MacDonald, Harry Newman, James Bentley, Mikolaj Oledzki and Luke Hooley through injury.

Here is the squad in full:

The Wolves were slow to announce their squad news perhaps due to the tribunal which is taking place today to determine whether McGuire is guilty of using inappropriate language in ben Currie’s testimonial against Leigh Leopards which saw him and Tom Amone charged.

McGuire was charged with a Grade F offence and could face a minimum ban of six games as consequence.

But he has been named in the squad for the visit of last year’s Grand Finalists Leeds Rhinos alongside Sam Kasiano despite a hip injury sustained against Leigh.

Gil Dudson doesn’t make his debut after breaking his hand.

Interestingly, there is no Matty Russell. He started on the wing ahead of Josh Thewlis against Leigh but the sensational showing of Thewlis on Friday night against North Wales Crusaders has perhaps seen him named ahead of Russell.

Here is the squad in full:

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