For the second week running Leeds Rhinos were forced to change their line up just before they took to the field today at Headingley.
Last week it was star winger David Fusitu’a who was set to start at centre but withdrew due to illness and this week it was another winger by trade in new recruit from Castleford Tigers Derrell Olpherts who was set to start at centre only to drop out in what seems to be a cursed scenario for Leeds and one they will want to shake off prior to the start of the season when someone will likely have to fill in at centre with Nene MacDonald and Harry Newman both doubts for the Round One clash against Warrington Wolves on February 16th.
Like Fusitu’a, Olpherts absence was down to illness as a former Leeds centre revealed in the shape of Chev Walker.
Assistant coach at Headingley after the departure of Sean Long to Featherstone Rovers and the decision of Jamie Jones-Buchanan to take on a new role at the club, Walker revealed Olpherts missed the game through illness.
“It was just illness I think, he’s alright.”
He also confirmed that there was no need to worry about new signing from Wigan Warriors James McDonnell who limped off in the first half:
“He’s fine. Just precaution really. No major issue really. He could have played on.”