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Leeds v Warrington: Predicted line-ups and late injury news

Leeds v Warrington is a big game in any season. But if you add the extra intrigue of George Williams’ anticipated debut as well as the rumoured departure of Blake Austin to Leeds ahead of next season and the game takes on a whole new meaning.

The Rhinos will be without two of the 17 who featured in their victory over Hull on Thursday night. Alex Mellor suffered an MCL rupture which will end his season. Meanwhile Callum McLelland is now on his seven-day return to play protocols after waking up with concussion symptoms. So, who will fill the void left by the pair? James Donaldson could start at second-row having played 75 minutes in the role on Thursday whilst the likes of Sam Walters, Morgan Gannon and Bodene Thompson could also be called into the side. For me, there’s also questions over Harry Newman. He’s enjoyed a magnificent return to the team after a 10 month long injury absence that said Thursday night was the first full 80 minutes he’s played this season and it could be a risk to ask him to back up just days after. So, is it as simple as Liam Sutcliffe to centre? Maybe not with no available halves other than hooker Kruise Leeming. I’m going to be controversial and predict that Tom Briscoe could move back to centre to give Newman a rest.

As for Warrington, the focus is on George Williams’ potential debut. Many expect him to come into the side ironically against another team who pursued him following his departure from Canberra. Speaking of Canberra, will former Canberra halfback Blake Austin feature alongside him despite his links to Leeds? If he does, the experienced Stefan Ratchford will drop back to fullback meanwhile Tom Lineham could return to the wing. Matty Ashton is also back in the squad but this game could still be too soon for him. There’ll also be no Joe Philbin or Jason Clark meaning young forward Eribe Doro could be given a chance to shine.

16 Richie Myler
24 Luke Briscoe
4 Konrad Hurrell
2 Tom Briscoe
5 Ash Handley
15 Liam Sutcliffe
7 Luke Gale
8 Mikolaj Oledzki
9 Kruise Leeming
10 Matt Prior
25 James Donaldson
12 Rhyse Martin
13 Zane Tetevano
14 Brad Dwyer
17 Cameron Smith
18 Tom Holroyd
19 King Vuniyayawa

1 Stefan Ratchford
5 Josh Charnley
18 Jake Mamo
4 Toby King
2 Tom Lineham
6 Blake Austin
31 George Williams
8 Chris Hill
9 Daryl Clark
10 Mike Cooper
11 Ben Currie
12 Jack Hughes
15 Matt Davies
16 Danny Walker
19 Rob Mulhern
20 Sitaleki Akauola
25 Eribe Doro

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