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SUPER LEAGUE PREVIEW | Leeds Rhinos vs Catalans Dragons

Leeds will look to put an end to a losing run in Super League that now stands at five games when they host Catalans Dragons at Headingley in a rare Wednesday night fixture. Read the preview here:

SQUAD NEWS

Leeds Rhinos

Two changes have been made to the Leeds squad that was named to take on St Helens last Friday. Winger Ryan Hall is away on international duty with England in Denver and Stevie Ward, who was one of those to miss out on the match day squad last week, is absent again due to concussion.

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Coming in for them are Mikolaj Oledzki, who could return from a head/neck injury suffered in the loss to Huddersfield, and 17-year old forward Tom Holroyd is included again after being an unused substitute last time out.

Ashton Golding (ankle) and Jordan Lilley (foot) could also feature if they pass fitness tests.

Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad: Golding, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Moon, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Dwyer, Mullally, Garbutt, Ferres, Handley, Ormondroyd, Walker, Lilley, Newman, Smith, Oledzki, Walters, Holroyd.

Catalans Dragons

Just one change is made to the side that threw away an 18-0 lead before going on to lose 26-25 at Huddersfield in round 18.

Back rower Mickael Goudemand, who made his one and only Catalans appearance in the reverse fixture against Leeds, is replaced by Fouad Yaha after he completed a one-match suspension for a shoulder charge.

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Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Mead, Wiliame, Yaha, Langi, Casty, Moa, Anderson, Garcia, Bird, Bousquet, Simon, Duport, Baitieri, McIlorum, Tierney, Jullien, Gigot, Drinkwater, Edwards.

HEAD TO HEAD

Leeds and Catalans last met just over three weeks ago, when the Dragons held off a second-half fightback from the champions to claim a 33-20 win at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

That was the French side’s fourth win in six games against Leeds, and another victory on Wednesday would not only see them complete a second ‘double’ over the Rhinos in just three years, but would also leave them just a point behind them in the table as they make a late push for a place in the Super 8’s.

KEY BATTLE- Matt Parcell v Michael McIlorum

Australian hooker Matt Parcell put in a man of the match performance in the loss to St Helens and showed signs he is getting back to the form that earned him a place in the 2017 Super League Dream Team.

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When Parcell plays well Leeds tend to look much more dangerous, so having him back close to his best at this crucial stage of the season will be a boost for Leeds, especially as they have several key players missing.

Born in Leeds, McIlorum is a player who always seems to step his game up when it comes to playing his hometown club. He had many a battle with the Rhinos during his time at Wigan, most famously a bust-up with Jamie Peacock at the 2014 Magic Weekend.

He scored twice for the Warriors in clashes with Leeds, while he also notched one of Catalans’ six tries in their win over Brian McDermott’s side last month.

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Another strong and fiery display from McIlorum on Wednesday could prove to be the platform his side need to take advantage of what has been a leaky Leeds defence in recent weeks.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday 20th June 2018.
Venue: Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Kick-off: 19:45pm.
Referee: tbc

WHO WILL WIN?

Who do you think will take the two points here?

I am 20-years old and have been writing about Rugby League for a number of years now. I am also set to start studying Sports Journalism at Leeds Trinity University in September. I am a keen Leeds Rhinos and England RL fan so for more of my rugby league opinions follow my Twitter which is @SamGreaves6.

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