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Reserves Round-up: Shock inclusion, England call-up named and new signing debuts

Reserves rugby was back again this weekend and things all started on Friday night at a wet Headingley Stadium Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC’s reserves met in a curtain raiser ahead of the meeting between the first teams.

The surprise inclusion in the side was Sam Walters who many Leeds fans believe should be playing first team rugby and fear that the forward could look to leave the club if he doesn’t play more given he is in the last year of his current contract.

Rohan Smith has played down those fears but he may have been fearing for Morgan Gannon. The England call up returned to the field for the first time since a nasty head knock the last time the Rhinos met Hull FC back in Round Two and in a scary moment the forward slipped as he chased a kick and collided with the advertising boards.

However, he played well against the Black and Whites operating in the halves replacing Jack Sinfield who played well in the first half.

The Rhinos also had young signings Leon Ruan and Luis Roberts in the centres and Roberts grabbed a brace of tries as Leeds won 38-18.

On Saturday, Wigan Warriors ploughed through Warrington Wolves to back up their win on Friday night as they won 74-10 against a Warrington side with some of their top youngsters in their side including Leon Hayes, Jake Thewlis, Luke Thomas and others who we have seen in Warrington’s 21-man squads.

As for Wigan, Harvie Hill who has returned from loan featured in the front row with Thomas Forber after his loan spell at Wakefield Trinity.

Young halfback Logan Astley was interestingly named at fullback. The Warriors notched a huge 13 tries.

There was a comprehensive win as well as Hull KR.

They had a few first teamers involved such as Ethan Ryan, Louis Senior, Rowan Milnes and Jimmy Keinhorst as well as Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.

Former teammate Will Tate made his Castleford Tigers debut against these familiar faces at centre after making the move recently. Jason Qareqare started at fullback, Jacob Hookem in the halves and Muizz Mustapha in the front row meaning the Tigers had two players who played in Hull KR’s famous play-off run in 2021 in their side but they lost 40-12.

Lastly, there was another big win as Salford Red Devils defeated London Broncos 60-24.

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