Under-18s clash with Tigers this Friday night

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/04/2022 - Rugby League - Leeds Rhinos Under-18s Academy vs Wigan Warriors Under-18s Academy - Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Leeds Rhinos’ Jack Sinfield.

Leeds Rhinos Under-18s are back on home soil tomorrow night as Chev Walker’s side take on Castleford Tigers Under-18s in an all Yorkshire clash at Stanningley, kick off 7pm.

After two tough games against Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants, the Rhinos are aiming for a sixth consecutive win of the season to keep up with current Academy Championship leaders St Helens. In their last game, despite only being able to field 15 players against the Giants, an inspired performance saw the Rhinos record a 30-10 result, courtesy of tries from Riley Lumb, Neil Tchamambe, the returning Jack Smith, Kyden Frater and two scores from half back Kai Morgan.

This week sees the Tigers travel the short distance to Leeds as Chris Spurr’s side look for their second win of the season. Currently sat in ninth position in the league table, the black and amber’s sole win came against Bradford Bulls in a 42-22 result. Out of the other four games they have played, the Tigers have only lost out by small margins (losing out to Wakefield at the end of April by six points, Huddersfield Giants by two points and Wigan by eight).

There are a number of former Rhinos youth players among Castleford’s ranks too. Forward Caine Glancy came through the ranks at the Rhinos to Academy level but has made the switch to Wheldon Road, while Under-16s players Jude Thompson and Tom Marris also featured for the Rhinos Scholarship in 2021. Jaiden Tang is also a former Leeds scholar.

Following this week’s Academy Origin squad announcements, the game will see a combined nine players from both teams run out at Stanningley. Leeds, who’s head coach Walker will take charge of the Yorkshire side, had Riley Lumb, Max Simpson, Kai Morgan, Jake Higgins, Harrison Gilmore, Bailey Aldridge, Alfie Edgell and Jack Smith named for the Yorkshire team, while Jack Sinfield will don the red rose of Lancashire. Outside back Jason Qareqare is Castleford’s sole representative and he will wear the white rose of Yorkshire.

Team News

Walker has named an almost identical squad to the one that beat Huddersfield Giants last time out.

The only player that is brought back into the team is half back Jack Sinfield, who has impressed for the first team in recent weeks. He is one of seven Leeds players who received a call up to the Academy Origin squads earlier this week and is playing in his first Under-18s game since he kicked the winning drop goal against Wigan at Headingley.

Two members of the Yorkshire team Jake Higgins and Harrison Gilmore, who have gone from strength to strength since joining the Rhinos Academy at the start of the year continue their spell in the forward pack, alongside Blake Morgan, Ben Littlewood and more.

Neil Tchamambe has scored a try in every Under-18s game he’s played in 2022 and will be hoping to keep that run alive. Kyden Frater was also a try scorer against Huddersfield, plus the winger also ran out for Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Development Academy that played Warrington Wolves in the College Cup Final.

Will Gatus, Ethan Spear, Jacob Mitchell and York’s Toby Warren are currently unavailable.

The team in full is:

Bailey Aldridge – Available to Sponsor

Billy Davies – Available to Sponsor

Alfie Edgell sponsored by The Leeds Welding Company

Kyden Frater – Available to Sponsor

Tobias Gibson – Available to Sponsor

Harrison Gilmore sponsored by Morley Ventilation

Jake Higgins – Available to Sponsor

Jack Johnson sponsored by MACRON Store Wakefield

Ben Littlewood – Available to Sponsor

Riley Lumb sponsored by Euro Auction

Blake Morgan – Available to Sponsor

Kai Morgan – Available to Sponsor

Dylan Proud sponsored by Stott Building Contractors

Ashton Robinson – Available to Sponsor

Jack Sinfield sponsored by Sporting Image

Jack Smith sponsored by GallifordTry Construction

Neil Tchamambe – Available to Sponsor

Tickets for tonight’s game is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Team sheets will be available for supporters on arrival.