Leigh Leopards are just over one week away from Wembley where they’ll face Hull KR in the Challenge Cup Final and with the Leopards playing in Super League two days later than their Wembley opponents, it was expected that they may rest some of their star players against Leeds Rhinos.
This was following comments last week by Adrian Lam on Channel 4 after Leigh’s defeat to Wigan Warriors that there could be some rotation, something that their Challenge Cup Final opponents Hull KR have done.
Rovers have made thirteen changes to their 21 man squad from the week prior with Willie Peters having promised six debuts when the Robins travel to the DW Stadium to face Wigan tonight.
Hence it was expected that Leigh might do the same but they certainly haven’t with the club naming what looks close to their full strength side.
— Leigh Leopards (@LeighLeopardsRL) August 4, 2023
Their core stars of Hardaker, Charnley, Lam, Ipape and Asiata all feature and new signing Oliver Gildart is also selected just days after arriving from Australia.
The only real starter missing is the man who Gildart has replaced in Ricky Leutele with the centre out for the rest of the season with a spine injury.
Perhaps fans should have taken Adrian Lam at his word more with the coach telling the Leigh Youtube channel that they’d aim to play their strongest team, and that is certainly the case.
He told the Leopards Youtube Channel: “We can’t afford to take our eyes off that ladder on the Super League. So you know, the preparation has been set all year, and the players know this, that we’ve got to pick our strongest team moving forward for this week.
“Maybe one or two players may be rested that have niggles and that’s a decision that we’ll make on captain’s run, but it’s business as usual for us.”
Sunday’s opponents Leeds have named a squad that looks thin in the spine following Blake Austin’s shock loan move away and Richie Myler’s confirmed foot injury, one that will see him miss six to ten weeks.
Jack Sinfield is brought in with Rohan Smith also suggesting Morgan Gannon could move into the halves.
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) August 4, 2023