Why David Fusitu’a isn’t playing today as Rohan Smith explains team selection

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 21/07/2022 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 20 - Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Leeds's David Fusitu'a is tackled by Wigan's Sam Powell & Mike Cooper.

There were, as there always seems to be, a few surprises in the Leeds line-up today.

The first and biggest was the absence of David Fusitu’a through “compassionate grounds.”

However, now Head Coach Rohan Smith has alleviated any worries about the winger by confirming Fusitu’a and his partner are simply expecting their second child.

Smith said on the Rhinos Twitter: “Fus is expecting baby number two imminent pretty much. So we made the chose to leave him at home so he can spend some time with his family.”

It probably won’t be the worst thing for Fusitu’a who picked up a slight ankle knock last week.

Smith also said he was excited to see Liam Tindall figure as he comes in to replace him: “I’m excited to give Liam Tindall his first opportunity in my time. He had a short cameo off the bench against Toulouse but excited to see him start the game.”

Leeds are boosted by the return of Aidan Sezer to scrum half, Smith spoke highly of him before the game: “We’ve played well when he hasn’t been with us but clearly he’s a dominant player for his and has a quality kicking game.”

That move saw Cameron Smith drop to the bench instead of his usual 13 spot which is held by James Donaldson again today.

Smith explained the thinking behind this: “Donno has done a good job at starting. We’re sharing the load in the middle a little bit and then Cam comes on and dominates the game after that hopefully.”

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