Leeds Rhinos forward Stevie Ward has been named in the squad for Saturday’s Grand Final, despite suffering a dislocated shoulder last week.
Ward, 23, picked up the injury in the second half of the semi-final clash with Hull FC at Headingley last Friday, and after seeing a specialist on Monday, was ruled out of the Final by coach Brian McDermott during Monday’s Grand Final press conference at Old Trafford.
However, his inclusion could hint that the injury could still have healed enough by Saturday evening for him to play some part in his first Grand Final.
Rhinos coach McDermott, who will lead Leeds out at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ for the fourth time, says it is still unlikely that Ward will play but insists he will be given every chance. He said: “Stevie was in a great deal of pain at the start of the week and is still unlikely to feature at Old Trafford however we will give him as long as possible to prove his fitness. They were unable to relocate his shoulder on Friday night because of the extent of the injury. Stevie was side lined during the 2012 Grand Final and of course missed out in 2015 because of injury so we want to give him time to try and stake his claim for Saturday.”
The Leeds 19-man squad in full is:
Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Matt Parcell, Adam Cuthbertson, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Stevie Ward, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Singleton, Mitch Garbutt, Jimmy Keinhorst, Brett Ferres, Anthony Mullally, Jack Walker.