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Rohan Smith reveals his “strongest team” as he makes surprise centre and second row decisions

Leeds Rhinos head into their final pre-season game today as they face Hull KR and they’re hoping that it will set the tone for the season, with coach Rohan Smith naming his ‘strongest squad’.

Pre-season is a time for experimenting but one man who has done it more than most of Rhinos’ head coach Rohan Smith, the Australian taking advantage of his first pre-season at Headingley to test combinations.

Those experiments have seen a heavy reliance on youth, Ash Handley at full-back and even Morgan Gannon in the halves but Sunday’s squad is one that’s far more familiar to fans.

Barring the injured Nene Macdonald and Harry Newman in the centres and England prop Mikolaj Oledzki, the Rhinos are at close to full strength with Smith expressing excitement to see one particular player.

Smith confirmed we would see their “strongest team” today saying.

“We’re going to field our strongest team, a few less changes, a bit more cohesion and a bit more chemistry hopefully. We’ll take it up a notch as we get ready for round one,” the Australian told Rhinos’ Youtube channel.

But what does this look like?

Well Ash Handley joins Fusitu’a in the centres with Luis Roberts and Liam Tindall on the wings in the absence of Derrell Olpherts

Meanwhile, Aidan Sezer, Blake Austin and Richie Myler start together in the spine for the first time.

In a bit of a surprise new number 10 Zane Tetevano is named in the backrow alongside Rhyse Martin with Sam Lisone and Tom Holroyd starting at prop.

Here is the team in full:

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