Rhinos Academy name squad for Friday night clash with Giants
Leeds Rhinos Under-19s look to continue their four match unbeaten streak this Friday when Chev Walker’s side travel to face Huddersfield Giants Under-19s at Huddersfield YMCA, kick off 7pm.
The Rhinos went through the month of August without losing a game, winning two and drawing one. Most recently, matches have been thrilling both at home and on the road, none more so than the 30 all draw with Hull KR at Emerald Headingley two weeks ago. The last trip Leeds made to face Huddersfield came in 2019; Ben Markland, Brad Martin, Corey Johnson and TJ Barton scoring tries in a 22-10 win for the young Rhinos.
Their opponents Huddersfield Giants have had a mixed start to 2021. Three losses in four games saw Kim Williams’ side react by winning their next five, notably toppling Wigan 20-18 last month thanks to tries from Kieran Rush, Oliver Peterkin, Jacob Beer and Spencer Peel. A second loss to Castleford though saw the young Giants bounce back again to defeat London Broncos 26-6 at Richmond; Williams’ side had previously beaten the Broncos 72-6 on home soil.
Rush, who was a try scorer in the win over Wigan, has also represented Yorkshire Academy this season. Coming out of Batley Boys community club, the full back has been one of the Giants’ best players this season, scoring tries in games against Newcastle and Castleford, and was also included in the Ian Watson’s 21 man squad for their Super League meeting with Wigan earlier this season and the pre season win over Leeds.
Head coach Walker has made some tweaks to the squad that beat Wakefield Trinity last Wednesday.
Will Gatus, who scored the try of the match against Trinity, is unavailable this week so Ben Sheils is likely to move back into the starting squad alongside top scorer Max Simpson. Danny Salkeld also retains his place, having scored his first academy try against Trinity last week.
Kai Morgan, Billy Davies, Sam Little are all absent following the Wakefield game but the Rhinos were given a boost by the return of forwards Luca Atkinson and AJ Wallace, who have both recovered from injuries recently. Atkinson scored his first try of the season from the bench against Trinity but will look to work his way back into then starting pack while Wallace made a great start to the new campaign and scored a try in his last game against Newcastle.
Tom Nicholson-Watton, Jonah Parsons, Joe Gibbons and Joe Hird are all still sidelined through injury.
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