Rohan Smith names unique side for Boxing Day friendly with strange positional switches and debuts

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith has named an exciting line up for the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge on Boxing Day against Wakefield at Headingley, kick off 11.30am.

The squad includes new signings Derrell Olpherts, James McDonnell, Justin Sangare and Leon Ruan whilst there are welcome returns from injury for Tom Holroyd, Max Simpson and Morgan Gannon.

Levi Edwards, who impressed whilst on loan at York in the Championship last season, will get the chance to show what he can do in a Rhinos shirt. 

Rohan Smith has spoken about versatility within his squad this season and Rhinos fans will get a first chance to see an option the team have been working on during pre-season with Ash Handley at fullback and Morgan Gannon in the halves.

Meanwhile there is a chance for young players like McKenzie Turner and Joe Gibbons, son of former player and ex-Rhinos women’s coach David Gibbons, to shine.

Gibbons, in his new number 33 shirt previously held by Leigh Leopards bound Zak Hardaker, starts in the backrow. 

If you can’t make it to Headingley, for the second year running, the game will be streamed live on Our League with professional commentary, who will be joined by a member of the Rhinos squad to given extra added insight as the expert summariser.

 The game will be available to fans at a cost of £4.95 if booked before midnight on Christmas Day, please be aware the price will rise to £10 on the day of the game, so fans are encouraged to purchase in advance of game day. In order to purchase the game, you need to be logged into your Our League account on the website. You cannot purchase within the app. The full game replay will be available to anyone who has pre-ordered the game and fans who do not purchase before the game can also pay to watch the full match again after the final hooter for £4.95.

Coverage will start from 11.15am live and exclusive from Headingley Stadium with full build up and team news beforehand. Not an Our League member yet? You can join via the RFL website here Rugby League ( or download the Our League app free from the Play Store or App Store.

 The squad in full is: 

 5 Ash Handley

28 Max Simpson

30 Levi Edwards

16 Derrell Olpherts

23 Liam Tindall

20 Morgan Gannon

1 Richie Myler

22 Sam Walters

9 Kruise Leeming

18 Tom Holroyd

33 Joe Gibbons

19 James McDonnell

25 James Donaldson


14 Jarrod O’Connor

17 Justin Sangare

31 Leon Ruan

17 Mackenzie Turner

42 Tom Nicholson-Watton

34 Alfie Edgell

32 Oli Field

38 Jack Smith

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