Rohan Smith gives update on Harry Newman and Nene MacDonald

Ahead of their Round One clash with Warrington Wolves, Rohan Smith spoke to the press today.

In light of the reveal of their 21-man squad for the game which of course highlighted the question of who will play in the centres, Smith gave an update on the two players who will wear the number three and four jerseys in 2023 in the shape of Harry Newman and Nene MacDonald.

He said:

“They’ve still got a bit to do. They’re trending in the right direction and they’re on track.

“As I’ve said in the past, sometimes at the back end of these long term rehabs, it’s hard to be exactly specific of their returns but they’re reaching milestones and progressing.”

MacDonald had previously said he wanted to be ready for Round One but Smith confirmed after Leeds’ defeat to Hull KR in pre-season that he would not be fit for the game against Warrington after he picked up an injury against England playing for Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup.

It leaves a question mark over the centres this week with options including first choice wingers David Fusitu’a and Ash Handley both being options there after starting there against Hull KR.

Meanwhile, Rhyse Martin has done well there in the past and played the second half in the role against the Robins.

Luis Roberts is adept in the role as well and scored a try from centre in pre-season against former club Leigh Leopards.

Derrell Olpherts, who missed the games against Hull KR and Bradford Bulls through illness, is back and could also play centre a position Smith has backed him to play all pre-season noting that he only transitioned to the wing when he came to Super League with Salford Red Devils.

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