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Star returns for Leeds Rhinos as Leigh Leopards deal with injury woes

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos look to build on their win over last year’s Grand Finalists Catalans Dragons when they head to face Leigh Leopards on Friday night.

Rohan Smith has assembled a very strong squad with star names being brought in during the off-season, particularly in the spine which has been fully rebuilt.

That class showed against Catalans in poor conditions last week when Brodie Croft was able to take control of the game and guide Leeds Rhinos to the win.

Facing a wounded and winless Leigh Leopards this week, Croft will once again need to be near his best to help Leeds to victory.

The Rhinos will be boosted though by the return of Mikolaj Oledzki with the England international back after missing rounds two and three.

That welcome size boost to their pack will be major considering the ban handed to James Bentley this past week, and the bans that James Donaldson and Sam Lisone are still serving.

As for Leigh Leopards, after being fortunate with injuries in 2023 their luck has run out with two more star players suffering long-term injuries.

Both Tom Briscoe and John Asiata tore their calves in the loss to St Helens, something that Adrian Lam has suggested could be due to Saints’ playing surface.

The pair will be out for at least six weeks and they joined hooker Edwin Ipape on the injured list after the Papua New Guinea international pulled up just nine minutes into the opening game.

Leeds Rhinos name strong squad as they look to build on brilliant win

Leeds Rhinos prop Mikolaj Oledzki

Rohan Smith has now named his 21-man squad for Leeds Rhinos’ clash with Leigh and it features just two changes, as confirmed by the club website.

The first is the return of Oledzki who comes back after suffering a shoulder injury against Salford Red Devils in Round One, but the second is a change among the backs.

Derrell Olpherts returns to the squad with the ex-Castleford Tigers winger replacing young Ned McCormack who is expected to play for Leeds Rhinos Reserves on Saturday.

As for Leigh, they’re obviously without both Briscoe and Asiata which could see young Umyla Hanley get a start on the wing.

Loanee Brad Dwyer retains his place after impressing on debut to replace Edwin Ipape whilst other new signings Owen Trout and Ben McNamara also feature.

Leeds Rhinos 21-Man Squad

1 Lachie Miller sponsored by Oxen
3 Harry Newman sponsored by Warners Fish Merchants
4 Paul Momirovski sponsored by YF Furniture
5 Ash Handley sponsored by Roxy Ball Room
6 Brodie Croft sponsored by Axis
7 Matt Frawley sponsored by Vale Services
8 Mikolaj Oledzki sponsored by Pickup Self Storage
9 Andy Ackers sponsored by Nexa Finance
10 Tom Holroyd sponsored by West Riding Paper Services
12 Rhyse Martin sponsored by Evolve Lettings
13 Cameron Smith sponsored by Warners Fish Merchants
14 Jarrod O’Connor sponsored by Horbury Dental Laboratories
16 James McDonnell sponsored by So-Trak
17 Justin Sangare sponsored by BKS Groundworks
18 Mickael Goudemand sponsored by Kronenbourg 1664
19 Derrell Olpherts sponsored by Bartercard
21 Jack Sinfield sponsored by ACS
23 Leon Ruan sponsored by Moortown
24 Luis Roberts sponsored by Wetherby Whaler
29 Alfie Edgell sponsored by The Leeds Welding Company
30 Tom Nicholson-Watton sponsored by Dee Living

Leigh Leopards 21-Man Squad

1 – Gareth O’Brien
3 – Zak Hardaker
4 – Ricky Leutele
5 – Josh Charnley
6 – Matt Moylan
7 – Lachlan Lam
8 – Tom Amone
10 – Robbie Mulhern
11 – Kai O’Donnell
12 – Jack Hughes
14 – Dan Norman
15 – Matt Davis
16 – Frankie Halton
17 – Owen Trout
18 – Ben Nakubuwai
19 – Ed Chamberlain
20 – Oliver Holmes
21 – Ben McNamara
24 – Umyla Hanley
26 – Jacob Gannon
33 – Brad Dwyer

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