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Rohan Smith on returning star, halfback options, Liam Tindall and Harry Newman as Leeds Rhinos prepare for Grand Final

Leeds’ season has been defined by injuries and suspensions and as they play in today’s Grand Final it will once again be defined by such things.

The Rhinos will be without David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Aidan Sezer and Morgan Gannon through injury whilst Ash Handley is also a doubt.

However, on the suspension front, it’s rare good news with Rhyse Martin back but Leeds boss Rohan Smith wouldn’t reveal where Martin would start the final with their being a possibility of him starting at either centre or second-row: “It’s great to have Rhyse back, he’s been an ever present aside from some things out of his control. He’s played well, we’re looking forward to having him back and no I won’t tell you where he’s playing.”

Speaking of options, Smith has plenty of options to consider in the halves but wouldn’t shed much light on who is likely to replace Aidan Sezer today: “We’ve got plenty of options. We’ve had to use a lot of players in a lot of different positions in the four months I’ve been here, due to injury and suspension so we’re pretty adaptable to players being in and out.”

He did however outline how disappointed he is for those injured players especially one in particularl: “It’s disappointing for those guys, particularly with Aidan, missing out in the matter that he has is really disappointing. All the way through it is focusing on who is playing rather than who isn’t but at the same time acknowledge the efforts of the people who made this opportunity.”

Another player no doubt devastated by injury is young Harry Newman, however he revealed that Newman is in good spirits despite a season full of setbacks: “He’s a great kid, he’s in training today throwing some banter around. He’ll be with us this weekend and will contribute as best as he can. Players have been really good with that putting their personal situations and being a contributing factor to the environment.”

From a young player denied a Grand Final appearance by injury to one who could be given a chance to play at Old Trafford due to Handley’s fitness, Smith praised young winger Liam Tindall noting he wouldn’t hesitate to play him: “Tindall has done a great job, he’s grown a lot this season and been really dependable on the wing and I won’t hesitate to play him if that’s the best thing for the team this week.”

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