Warrington Wolves vs Leeds Rhinos: Injury news, suspension worries and how to watch

Super League is back this week and it starts with a bang in a game that has been a Grand Final in the past as Warrington Wolves host Leeds Rhinos on Thursday night in a repeat of the 2012 Grand Final.

These two teams have met in the opening games of the 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2016 seasons with the Wolves winning three of the four prior meetings.

When these two sides meet on the opening day one usually goes on to contest at least one major final by the end of the season. Will it be the case in 2023?

It is an interesting game with the Rhinos coming into the season on the back of making an unlikely Grand Final in 2022 under Rohan Smith who has now enjoyed his first pre-season at Headingley.

The Rhinos have decided to reduce the average age of their squad allowing some star players to leave and bringing in some stars of the future.

The Wolves have done the opposite approach after finishing 11th in 2022. Daryl Powell has brought in some top stars in the middle of the field to revitalise his pack as he brings in plenty of experience to the club.

Both sides are enigmas going into the new season and both will be keen to start with a win after all they both know what bad form can do to a season.

So, as they prepare for the big season kick off, here is the early team news for the game.

Injury and suspension news

Warrington Wolves

Gil Dudson will miss the game after sustaining a broken hand against Leigh Leopards last week. Fortunately he doesn’t need surgery.

In the same game, Sam Kasiano picked up a hip injury but has trained since and therefore should be ready to feature on Thursday. Joe Philbin and Connor Wrench are still recovering from long term injuries.

There is also an anxious wait over Josh McGuire. Tomorrow a tribunal will meet over his potential six match ban over something he was alleged to have said in the Leigh clash.

Leeds Rhinos

Rohan Smith has ruled out new signing Nene MacDonald after he sustained an injury in the Rugby League World Cup.

Fellow centre Harry Newman will also miss the game through injury. Outside back Derrell Olpherts is back from illness and James McDonnell should also be ready to go after missing the Hull KR game through illness.

Max Simpson is out for the season leaving those centre options strained. Mikolaj Oledzki and Luke Hooley are recovering from surgery and James Bentley is set to be out with what is reported to be a knee injury.

Aidan Sezer avoided a ban for a high tackle on Lachlan Coote against Hull KR so will feature.

How to watch

The game kicks off at 20:00 on Thursday. Coverage of the game starts at 19:30 on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports arena.

However, there is a preview show on Sky Sports Main Event and Arena from 19:00.

On Sky Sports Arena, the two hour documentary about Leeds legend Kevin Sinfield’s latest MND fundraiser is on from 17:00.

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