Today Leigh Leopards take on Leeds Rhinos today in an exciting friendly that could show the calibre of the Leopards as they return to Super League and take on the Grand Finalist from last season.
So, here’s six players who will want to shine in this game ahead of the new season.
Umyla Hanley – Leigh Leopards
Umyla Hanley has big shoes to fill in 2023 as the former Wigan Warriors winger replaces Blake Ferguson at the club. He is behind former Super League Champions Tom Briscoe and Josh Charnley for a spot on the wing but impressing here will see him nail down a position.
Derrell Olpherts – Leeds Rhinos
A new signing, he will feature alongside Leeds’ two first choice wingers in David Fusitu’a and Ash Handley. He can underline his credentials for a wing spot as well his ability to cover at centre in 2023 today.
Aaron Smith – Leigh Leopards
All the focus at Leigh is on Edwin Ipape. The Papua New Guinea hooker was the Championship Player of the Year and is the favourite for the Man of Steel. But the hooker often started on the bench in 2023 with Smith starting games. Smith could again play that role but to ensure that, he will need a big performance.
Kruise Leeming – Leeds Rhinos
After a brilliant season in 2021, Kruise Leeming was struck by a mid-season injury last year which saw Jarrod O’Connor start big games ahead of him and now there are questions over whether he will remain as the skipper. A big performance could secure his spot as the starting nine and as skipper.
Zak Hardaker – Leigh Leopards
Against his former club after he made the bold decision to leave Leeds Rhinos, despite the fact they offered him a deal for 2023, Hardaker will want to show what he can do at Leigh in 2023 after leaving Leeds Rhinos.
Tom Holroyd – Leeds Rhinos
After missing the entire 2023 Super League season through suspensions and injuries, the prop has it all to do with Sam Walters, Justin Sangare and Sam Lisone battling for places in the first choice 17.