Academy match preview – Bradford Bulls

After suffering a second loss of the season against City of Hull last week, Leeds Rhinos Academy will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Bradford Bulls Academy at Odsal this Saturday, kick off 11:30am.

The young Rhinos produced a late shock in their last curtain raiser event against Wigan and they have the chance to play before the first team again this week with the match taking place prior to the Coral Challenge Cup round six clash between the two clubs.


Saturday’s opponents Bradford will be without five players following their 12-44 loss to Wigan last week. Sam Smith, Ryan Butterworth, Bradley Gallagher and Murphy Smith have all received one match bans whilst Keelan Foster will miss a further match following a melee that has seen eleven players banned from action this weekend. Leigh Beattie’s side currently rank ninth in the league and haven’t won a game since the end of March when they faced Wakefield Trinity.

Last Time We Met

Last season, Leeds visited Bradford off the back of a thorough 68-8 away win against City of Hull but Burrow’s side would suffer their fourth loss of the season in Round 19. With the Bull’s taking a 14-0 lead early on, tries from Jordan Russell and Tyler Dupree couldn’t get Leeds back in the game, the Bulls sealing the win thanks to Ryan Butterworth.

Team News

Rob Burrow has made three changes from last week’s defeat to City of Hull. Tom Holroyd is the major inclusion in the starting thirteen, with the prop recovering from an ankle injury to make his second academy appearance. Like some of his academy team mates, Holroyd has been involved in first team action, coming off the bench against London, Catalans and Castleford in March before suffering his injury.

With the exception of Holroyd, the squad remains the same as last week. Ben Markland will start on the right edge, seeing Iwan Stephens move to full back and Liam Whitton drop to the bench. Tyler Dupree and Muizz Mustapha swap positions in the forward pack and Loui McConnell moves in at loose forward for the fifth time this season. Jarrod O’Connor fills in at second row for Owen Trout, who went off injured against City of Hull.

Sam Moorhouse will make his first appearance of 2019 following a foot injury. He is included alongside fellow forward Harry Georgiou on the bench.

Here’s Saturday’s squad:

Hooker Oli Burton will make his sixth Academy appearance against the Bull’s and is confident the Rhinos can get back to winning ways on Saturday. Watch the full video below:

Tickets are still available for the Challenge Cup match, with the Academy curtain raiser included in your ticket. Find out more at