Ahead of another huge game as Leeds look to seal at least fifth place and knock on the door for fourth spot as the season draws to a close, the Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith spoke to the press this morning.
He started off speaking about the return of skipper Kruise Leeming to the squad whose return is timely with Cameron Smith absent which may see Jarrod O’Connor take over his loose-forward duties.
“We’re going to need everyone in the next couple of games. I think for Kruise he has really used this time to focus on his own game,” Smith said.
“He has really got himself around how coaches have been thinking and spent time with us. I’m looking forward to seeing Kruise in a part of the game tomorrow.
“He’s in very good condition so we will see how the game is going. He will be playing whether that’s a big or small part we will see.”
Smith also revealed why the hooker returned quicker than first thought given that it is not a wear and tear issue: “It was unknown with a stress-related injury. It was an impact injury and he scored at Hull FC with an isolated incident. The nature of the injury meant it healed at a different rate.”
Smith also noted that though winger David Fusitu’a is back from a ban, he has a few niggles but fortunately Tom Briscoe is back in the mix: “Fusitu’a is back from his suspension, he has had a few little niggles which have coincided with that, but him and Briscoe are in the running for sure.”
Meanwhile Cameron Smith will miss the game and likely the Catalans fixture too: “It is too soon for Cameron Smith, but he will be back in the picture for Catalans or maybe not until Cas.
“It is not a long term or significant but it is wear and tear. He’s got another significant level to him, he’s a quality player and quality leader and I wouldn’t be surprised in seeing him play for England.”
Meanwhile, things aren’t as bad for Liam Tindall as originally thought: “Liam is ok, he has a chance to being able to play again, it’s not a serious long-term issue.”
Those injuries aren’t ideal with so many short turnarounds on the horizon, Smith had his say on them as someone knew to this scenario: “It’s been a short turnaround from our last one into this one, we are not treating this one too much differently to a regular five-day turnaround.
“We are in a decent position for this Wednesday night game and all our chips are going in to winning this game against one of the top teams.
“From there we will reassess after the game and see where we are at and get some recovery done over the next couple of days. We will make a decision whether to freshen things up or go again.
“It’s a unique situation, players in this country over the years are used to the Easter period and what happens there and with Covid too.
“Amongst our players it’s not really been talked about or sensed about that different. They are somewhat familiar to it.”