Super League signing named for reserves this week

Leeds Rhinos Reserves will now host Castleford Tigers Reserves at Stanningley this Friday night, kick off 7pm.

The match was scheduled to take place at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Saturday but both sides have brought the fixture forward to Friday night to set up an exciting contest at the Arthur Miller Stadium.

The Rhinos made the perfect start to the new Reserves season with a resounding 48-0 home win against Bradford a fortnight ago. Led by former Castleford player Tony Smith, the Rhinos put the game to bed by half time with six consecutive tries. First team players Corey Johnson, Luis Roberts and Leon Ruan all had big games, plus a number of homegrown talents, including Riley Lumb and Alfie Edgell, also made good impressions.

The Tigers, who finished last season with five wins in 13 matches, got their campaign underway with a well-earned draw at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to Wigan Warriors. Former Rhino Alex Sutcliffe was among the scorers for Scott Murrell’s side, who led 12-10 but conceded a late Wigan penalty goal to see the side’s share the points.

During last season, this fixture proved to be one of the most entertaining games. Despite falling to a 18-4 deficit early in the game, Leeds overturned the odds to win 40-34 in a thrilling matchup; Joe Gibbons running in two tries in the second half.

Tony Smith has named a largely unchanged extended squad ahead of the Tigers clash.

Thirteen members of the team that beat Bradford a fortnight ago could feature this week, including try scorers Oli Field, Alfie Edgell, Riley Lumb, Jack Sinfield and Toby Warren. Field is the only player named in the 19-man squad that also played in this fixture last year, which the Rhinos won 40-34.

The major inclusion for the Rhinos is Luke Hooley, who plays his first minutes of 2023. The full-back has been recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered in pre-season, and this game gives him the chance to get valuable game time under his belt as part of his recovery.

Smith has also named a number of Under-18s Academy players, after their opening game was postponed due to the weather last week. Neil Tchamambe, Harrison Gilmore and Jack Johnson all got time in the Reserves competition under Chev Walker last year and could feature against Castleford, while prop Tobias Gibson gets his first Reserves call-up, having played three Academy games last year.

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