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Rhinos assign squad number 32 as youngster is called up to the first team

It’s been a truly horrendous campaign for Leeds in terms of injuries and things don’t get any easy for the play-off chasing Rhinos.

Already without the likes of Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki, Alex Mellor and Liam Sutcliffe through injury and Zane Tetevano through suspension, Leeds lost another key player in their Magic Weekend win over Hull FC.

Rob Lui went off injured after a head knock and subsequently failed his HIA test meaning he is ineligible for the huge game at St Helens on Friday.

That creates a problem for Richard Agar as it leaves him with only Richie Myler, Kruise Leeming, Jack Broadbent and Brad Dwyer when it comes to players capable of featuring in the spine. If the Rhinos were to sustain another injury, it would be disastrous to their chances but the four remaining pivots may not be enough anyway considering Agar often likes to use Dwyer’s pace as an asset off the bench. This prompted him to move Myler into the halves against Hull with Broadbent stepping in at fullback.

However, Leeds have found a solution to this problem. Early this season the Rhinos announced the remarkable return of Corey Johnson to the club. The young hooker was highly thought of at Leeds even debuting in the final game of 2019 but decided to retire at the start of 2020 to pursue other interests and careers and has since completed the first year of a degree at Leeds Beckett University.

However, after starring for Hunslet Park Side, he made a U-turn on his decision re-joining the Rhinos mid-way through the 2021 season before instantly moving on loan to York where he has since impressed especially when playing in the halves.

Now that the Rhinos’ injuries problems have worsened, he’s been recalled to the club and joined the first team squad being assigned squad number 32.

His job could be as simple as providing an extra body in training as Leeds struggle for numbers due to the number of injuries they currently face but after showing great form at York don’t surprised to see him feature in some capacity on Friday night against the Champions in a real baptism of fire.

Speaking to the club’s YouTube channel he had high praise for York and appeared to enjoy his time there: “It was class. Fordy [James Ford] is a very good coach and very welcoming, all the boys were very welcoming and I really enjoyed being up there.

“York was a really good place for me to start developing again and learning my trade again. I’ve had a lot of opportunities there to get a lot of minutes and play.”

He also went on to talk about the part he could play as the season draws to a close: “I’d love to play my part but even training, being around the boys is good for me.”

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