Kevin Sinfield returns to Headingley Stadium as he looks to guide a struggling Leeds Rhinos side back to winning ways in the derby meeting with Wakefield Trinity. Here’s everything you need to know:
Three changes have been made to the Leeds squad, with forwards Carl Ablett and Mitch Garbutt returning from calf and knee injuries respectively, while Ash Handley comes back in after a two-game absence due to a slight hamstring strain.
They replace Brett Delaney, who did not return to the pitch after suffering a cut to his face against Castleford, Anthony Mullally (concussion) and Jordan Lilley.
Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad: Golding, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Hall, Moon, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Ablett, Ward, Dwyer, Garbutt, Ferres, Handley, Walker, Smith, Oledzki, Walters.
Chris Chester makes just one change to the side that were beaten at home by Catalans on Saturday. James Batchelor missed out last week due to a concussion, but has been deemed fit to return after passing the necessary tests. He comes in for Irish international halfback Liam Finn.
The game comes to soon for Joe Arundel as he nears a comeback from an ankle injury, while Scott Grix (shoulder) and Craig Huby (knee) are still unavailable.
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: Johnstone, Tupou, Lyne, Jones-Bishop, Miller, Fifita, Wood, England, Ashurst, Randell, Horo, Pauli, Arona, Batchelor, Hirst, Jowitt, Annakin, Caton-Brown, Hampshire.
HEAD TO HEAD
Leeds won the reverse fixture with Wakefield in April, edging out a closely fought battle 28-26 at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. Kallum Watkins scored twice and kicked four goals to drag his team to victory and condemn Trinity to a fifth straight defeat.
Wakefield have won just once in their last 10 games on Leeds’ turf, with their sole success coming in a 20-16 win in March 2016.
KEY BATTLE- Tom Briscoe v Tom Johnstone
Despite the Rhinos’ heavy defeat and poor team performance at Castleford, Tom Briscoe went over for two tries at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and will be looking to continue his try scoring form on Friday night.
The winger has scored 11 times in all competitions this season, making him Leeds’ top scorer, with four of those tries coming in his last four games.
In even more impressive form, though, is Wakefield’s Tom Johnstone. The 22-year-old has bounced back from a serious knee injury to impress again in 2018, scoring 15 tries in as many games including seven in his last six outings, earning him a nomination for Super League’s player of the month.
He has also scored four tries in the five games he has played against Leeds, with two of those coming in his side’s 38-14 loss at Headingley last year. Johnstone will fancy himself to improve that record when comes up against a Rhinos defence that has conceded a combined 20 tries and 116 points in just three games.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 13th July 2018.
Venue: Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Referee: Robert Hicks.
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