Giants next up as Rhinos Reserves return to action

For the first time in over a month, Leeds Rhinos Reserves return to the field as Chev Walker’s side clash with Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Giants Reserves at Stanningley on Friday night, kick off 7pm.

Like the Under-18s, the Reserves are closing in on the end of their season with games against the Giants and Hull FC remaining in August and a Headingley clash against Wakefield Trinity at the start of September.

There is a chance that Walker’s side can clinch a top four Play Off spot, as they currently sit with twelve points from ten games. Wins over Bradford, Wakefield, Castleford, London and a tight meeting with Hull KR have kept the Rhinos in the fight, with two of their wins coming at Stanningley. Their most recent win came last time out as young centre Jack Smith recorded five tries in a 52-12 win over Newcastle Thunder.

Watch the game below

The Giants made a strong start to their season but recent wins have been hard to come by. Four wins from their opening five games made a statement for Steve Fox’s side as they toppled Warrington Wolves, Newcastle Thunder, Salford Red Devils and London Broncos. Their only defeat up until April came at the hands of Castleford.

Since then, a sole 30-18 win over Bradford has been the Giants’ only win as Wigan, St Helens and both Hull FC and Hull KR have inflicted losses; St Helens notably keeping the claret and golds to nil before the Robins put 66 points passed them the week after.

Still, they only sit two points behind Leeds and a win would also boost their hopes of a top four finish, with games against white rose clubs Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers scheduled before the end of the regular season.

Team News

For the first time in the Reserves this season, Chev Walker has named his 19-man squad full of Rhinos talent for the clash with the Giants.

Previously, the club has brought in external players from local sides Hunslet, Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls and York City Knights to play alongside the talent coming through the Rhinos’ development pathway, but after a long period without a game, the Rhinos Reserves head coach has a plethora of players available.

Off the back of the win against Newcastle in July, Walker has made seven changes, notably in the outside backs as top try scorer Mackenzie Turner returns alongside Will Gatus, while Riley Lumb, who has impressed in the Under-18s, gets his first start as a Reserves player.

Forward Ben Littlewood is also in line to debut for the Reserves, while Joe Hird is back after successful spells at Cornwall and Hunslet. The big returnee for Leeds though is forward Tom Nicholson-Watton, who can make his first appearance since August 2021 at his junior club Stanningley.

Former Castleford player Will Shaw is named for the first time in a Leeds squad, as the hooker missed the chance to debut after last week’s Under-18s game against London was cancelled. Fellow hooker Jonah Parsons is also available for a second consecutive game after scoring a memorable try against Thunder.

The squad in full for the match is:

Bailey Aldridge

Alfie Edgell sponsored by Leeds Welding Company

Will Gatus sponsored by Queen Elizabeth Grammar School

Joe Gibbons

Harrison Gilmore sponsored by Morley Ventilation

Joe Hird sponsored by Pickups Self Storage

Corey Johnson sponsored by Y F Furniture

Jack Johnson sponsored by MACRONSTORE Wakefield

Ben Littlewood

Riley Lumb sponsored by EuroAuctions

Tom Nicholson-Watton sponsored by Dee Living

Jonah Parsons

Danny Salkeld sponsored by Easaway Drain Care (UK)

Will Shaw

Jack Sinfield sponsored by Sporting Image

Jack Smith sponsored by GallifordTry Construction

Nathan Snee

Neil Tchamambe

Mackenzie Turner

Ticket Information

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.