Stevie Ward has today been named in the Leeds 19-man squad ahead of the game against Hull KR on Friday, the first time he has been included for 11 months. But, the Rhinos say that he is unlikely to play this week.
Ward suffered a huge injury to his leg in the famous game at Huddersfield which saw Leeds win the League Leaders’ Shield on the 25th September last year and has since undergone 4 operations and been through an extensive rehab period. The new Rhinos number 13 resumed full time training on Monday and will be probably be held back from playing for another week in order to get up to speed and re-familiarise himself with how the team plays.
His impending comeback injects more positivity into a Leeds team who have won 6 of their last 7 games and got off to a very strong start in the Middle 8’s last week with a huge 62-6 win at Featherstone Rovers. They will now be looking to continue with their impressive recent form, and have the chance to do so with their game against the Rovers, a team they last came up against just 3 weeks ago. On that occasion, the Rhinos came out as narrow winners at the KC Lightstream stadium with a 24-20 win.
In other team news, Brett Delaney has been ruled out of this game and potentially the rest of the season after dislocating a knee cap and damaging soft tissue last week. But, fellow second rower Brett Ferres has been passed as fit for this one. There was some concern for the England international when he came off with an ankle/foot problem in last week’s win, but he should have recovered from that enough to play on Friday. Jordan Lilley is also still missing, but this isn’t a major concern as Danny McGuire came through his return to action last week with no problems.
Leeds 19-man squad:
Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Keith Galloway, Adam Cuthbertson, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton, Mitch Garbutt, Jimmy Keinhorst, Mitch Achurch, Ashton Golding, Brett Ferres, James Segeyaro.