MATHERS RULED OUT FOR SEASON

Leeds Rhinos have announced that England international Richard Mathers will require a knee reconstruction that will rule him out for the rest of the 2006 season.

Leeds Rhinos have announced that England international Richard Mathers will require a knee reconstruction that will rule him out for the rest of the 2006 season. Mathers suffered the injury in the defeat to Hull at Headingley Carnegie on Friday and had a scan on Tuesday that revealed the extent of the injury. The Leeds-born full back broke into the first team at the start of the 2004 Championship winning season, taking over from Great Britain star Gary Connolly. Since then Mathers has only missed two games in 80 games for the Rhinos and is an ever present so far this season. Commenting on the announcement Head Coach Tony Smith said, "It is a cruel blow for Richard and we all really feel for him. It is also a big blow for the team to lose any player for the rest of the season but especially someone like Richard. He has been in great form recently not just on attack but also defence, which he has done a lot of work on. He will have our full support throughout his rehabilitation and at 22 he has the best possible chance of making a full recovery and going on and having a long, successful career."