The unbeaten Catalans Dragons are at Headingley this weekend looking to make it six wins from six to start the season: their best ever record to begin a campaign.
The last time Leeds Rhinos beat the Dragons at home was back in 2019 in a comprehensive win in which the Rhinos went down to 12 men when Brad Singleton was sent off.
As the Rhinos go in search of a win Leeds Head Coach Rohan Smith has named his 21 man squad to face the unbeaten Catalans Dragons this Saturday live on Channel 4.
The Rhinos are expecting a bumper crowd for the 1pm Saturday lunchtime kick off.
Leeds are without Ash Handley, Mikolaj Oledzki and Morgan Gannon through injury whilst James Bentley will miss Saturday’s game as he serves a one game suspension.
Full back Luke Hooley, who joined the Rhinos from Batley in the close season, is included in the 21 man squad for the first time this season having made his comeback from an ankle injury in the Reserves last week. Jack Sinfield, who impressed in that Reserves win, is also included.
Hooker Corey Johnson returns to the squad to replace Kruise Leeming, who has asked for a release from his contract. Johnson played for Bradford Bulls last week on dual registration, as did Liam Tindall, who scored for the Bulls in their win over Sheffield and earns a recall to the 21 man squad for the Rhinos.
Sam Walters and James Donaldson both return to the squad having missed out at Castleford last week.
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith has named his 21 man squad to face the unbeaten Catalans Dragons this Saturday at Headingley, live on @Channel4
➡ More https://t.co/rE4qUO4JYh pic.twitter.com/oo6RKQX0aS
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) March 23, 2023
Leeds fans were calling for Jack Sinfield to take over in the halves after he impressed in the reserves last week.
The young halfback made his debut last year at 17 against the Tigers and played in the wins over Toulouse Olympique and Hull KR prior to featuring in losses to Catalans Dragons and Toulouse later in the season.
Son of Leeds legend Kevin Sinfield, Jack has high potential and showed it for the reserves last night. The Rhinos thrashed Castleford with Sinfield scoring a superb brace of tries that show he fits the Rohan Smith model.
Smith likes his halfbacks to take on the line believing that good things happen on the back of a halfback being tackled because the game opens up.
Sinfield’s two solo tries last night demonstrated that he has that running game.
He also is a good organiser for someone his age and he kicked five goals in last night’s win.
Halfback partner Kai Morgan also got a try which was created by a sensational Sinfield kick.
One Leeds fan subsequently questioned if this is Sinfield’s time:
Jack Sinfield appears to have had another blinder tonight in the Reserves against Castleford at Stanningley
Is this his time?! 🤔
— LoinersView (@loinersview) March 17, 2023
Meanwhile another fan suggested that Sinfield should replace Sezer in the side for the appropriate balance:
I think he probably is but he’s not a like-for-like with Austin. Jack will lead you around the ground (7) whilst Blake will find and run at space (6). If he’s in he’s Sezer’s replacement, not Austin’s.
— RugbyStuff (@David_SportX) March 18, 2023