Leeds Rhinos have been unsuccessful in their appeal against Harry Newman’s suspension.
Newman was given a two-match ban for an altercation with match official Tom Grant during Leeds’ 42-12 defeat to St Helens before having it upgraded to a three-match ban due to a ‘frivolous’ appeal.
Despite that, the Rhinos sought to appeal again this time appealing against the extra game so that he could be available for Saturday’s game against Toulouse as Leeds look to win three in a row for the first time in 2022 and give their play-off hopes an almighty boost.
However, the Rhinos have been unsuccessful in their appeal against the last game of his three-match ban meaning he won’t figure in France and will instead return against Wigan at home next weekend.
This was the verdict of an independent operational rules tribunal tonight.
Fortunately at this stage no games can be added to the suspension.
A major blow for the Rhinos
This was the last thing Leeds needed. Not only does it mean that the Rhinos will again be without a player many consider to be the best at the club keeping him to just three appearances this season, but this is a position that they didn’t need another problem in.
Newman’s replacement in recent weeks Zak Hardaker is a major doubt for the trip to France after suffering a thigh injury against Castleford last week. Meanwhile, a whirlwind of rumour is circulating around Liam Sutcliffe with the news today that Oliver Gildart could be coming which could end Sutcliffe’s near decade long Leeds career.
It will also ensure Rhyse Martin starts in centre stretching the pack even more so than it already is with Matt Prior suspended after last week’s Magic Weekend win.
The Rhinos squad is truly thread bare. Maybe a debut for Levi Edwards or another appearance for Max Simpson in France.