Rhinos Reserves prepare for Thunder test this Friday

Photo courtesy of Craig Hawkhead Photography.

Following their recent win at the weekend, Leeds Rhinos Reserves return to Stanningley this Friday night as Chev Walker’s side take on Newcastle Thunder Reserves, kick off 7pm.

Over the last fortnight, Leeds went from losing in the last minutes against Salford to producing a first class performance at the weekend against London Broncos. Mackenzie Turner led the Rhinos’ attack with a convincing hat trick, taking his tally for the season up to eight tries, while debutant Zach McSwiney and Hunslet’s Liam Carr also got over the whitewash go give the visitors their fifth win of 2022.

The win broke a two game losing streak for the Reserves and moved Walker’s side up into the top five of the Reserves league table. Following this Friday’s game, only three matches remain for the Rhinos (Huddersfield Giants at home on 5th August, Hull FC away on 20th August and Wakefield Trinity at home on 3rd September) and with a number of teams competing for a spot in the Play Offs, results will be important if they want to make it to the post season.

Newcastle Thunder won’t be competing for the Play Offs but they did get their first win of the year last time out against Wakefield Trinity. Thunder only had 15 players available for the game but took a 20-8 lead into half time. Although they only managed a penalty goal in the second half, the home side held off a Wakefield comeback to claim a 22-16 result.

The win broke a winless run that saw the side from the north east lose to Huddersfield, Castleford, Bradford and Hull FC between February and May. After Salford’s result at Stanningley last time out though, they will be confident of causing an upset on the road.


Team News

Head coach Chev Walker was pleased to announce that he has been able to welcome a number of players back ahead of this week’s clash with Newcastle.

Out of the 20 players named prior to matchday, only five of them featured against London Broncos last time out. Joe Gibbons, Jack Johnson, Nathan Snee and Danny Salkeld, as well as Hunslet’s David Gibbons, are in contention for selection by Walker, who was on Academy Origin duty last weekend. Along with the head coach returning this week, Alfie Edgell and Toby Warren are aiming to turn their fortunes around in the Reserves after Yorkshire were defeated by Lancashire last Sunday.

Also among the returning faces are West Bowling duo Luca Atkinson and hooker Jonah Parsons, who have been out with major injuries since 2021. Former West Bowling prop Atkinson has been kept out after suffering an injury in pre season while Parsons has spent two years on the sidelines after scoring on his academy debut against Newcastle at Kingston Park.

Both are raring to go against Thunder along with first teamers Jack Sinfield, Max Simpson and Corey Johnson. Sinfield is making his first appearance in a Rhinos shirt since he suffered a concussion against Warrington Reserves at Headingley, while hooker Johnson is also back after missing the last two Reserves games against Salford and London. Simpson on the other hand can make his first Reserves appearance since March, having gained minutes with the first team earlier in the season and the Under-18s Academy a fortnight ago.

Former Toulouse, London Skolars and Sheffield Eagles outside back Max Clarke also becomes the latest external player to be given game time by the Rhinos in their Reserves team.

The squad list in full is:

Luca Atkinson

Mekhi Bridgeman-Reaney

Max Clarke

Billy Davies

Alfie Edgell sponsored by The Leeds Welding Company

David Gibbons

Joe Gibbons

Harrison Gilmore sponsored by Morley Ventilation LTD

Jake Higgins

Corey Johnson sponsored by Y F Furniture

Jack Johnson sponsored by MacronStore Wakefield

Jonah Parsons

Danny Salkeld sponsored by Easaway Draincare Specialists

Max Simpson sponsored by FastSigns Leeds

Jack Sinfield sponsored by Sporting Image

Jack Smith sponsored by GallifordTry Construction

Nathan Snee

Ethan Spear

Neil Tchamambe

Toby Warren

To sponsor an Academy, Reserves or Scholarship player, please contact [email protected].


Tickets

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

Please note that this game will NOT be streamed.