Today is the day when Saturday’s game against Catalans becomes clearer with the announcement of the 21-man squads for the fixture set to be announced today.
For the first time in a few weeks, the squad news is set to be accompanied with positive news rather than that sense of dread that the number of absences has prompted ahead of recent fixtures.
One player Leeds will definitely have back in the mix is Matt Prior. The former Rhinos skipper often leads the way in the middle but has missed the last two weeks due to a ban picked up in the Magic Weekend win over Castleford which was harsh at best.
It means Leeds will no longer be running with one senior prop as they have done in the last couple of weeks with Mikolaj Oledzki the only natural option there.
His return is timely as Yusuf Aydin’s brief loan spell at the club ends this week leaving Leeds needing another option in the role.
Elsewhere both Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer could return to the squad after short term injuries which saw Leeds start with Richie Myler and Cameron Smith in the halves against Wigan – the 10th different halfback pairing of the season.
I don’t envisage both returning to the 17 this week with one likely to partner Richie Myler in the halves with Zak Hardaker at fullback but both could very well return to the squad with both hopefully capable of playing against Salford a week on Sunday.
The only doubt for the squad is David Fusitu’a, but like Sezer and Austin he’s been training this week so should be okay to feature in the squad.
Predicted 21-man squad:
David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Handley, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Matt Prior, James Bentley, Rhyse Martin, Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler, Cameron Smith, Bodene Thompson, Morgan Gannon, Jarrod O’Connor, James Donaldson, Corey Johnson, Muizz Mustapha, Liam Tindall, Zak Hardaker.